The Long Lots Elementary School PTA has donated $56,000 to the school for renovation of the school's library media center.

The gift, accepted by the Board of Education Monday night, will include new shelves, computer stations, circulation desk, study tables and a reading rug. The money was raised at a bingo night benefit in March.

"The goal (of the gift) was to make the library more of a 21st century learning center as Westport gears up for 2025," said Long Lots PTA Co-president Lauren Goodman.

Launched in 2010, Westport 2025 is a district-wide, kindergarten-through-12th-grade curriculum initiative, which aims to develop students' critical-thinking, creative, communication and problem-solving skills.

Designed by Westport educators with professors and doctoral students from Columbia University's Teachers College, Westport 2025 has spurred a number of curriculum changes in the school district.

In social studies, the school district launched the ninth-grade Global Themes course at the start of the 2011-12 year, a class that encapsulates the Westport 2025 learning paradigm. Instead of taking a traditional final exam, Global Themes students participated in a year-end "problem-learning experience" based on a real-world scenario. For some students last year, that project required them to come up with a plan for Apple to turn a profit from the manufacturing of products abroad, while ensuring that workers were treated equitably in the country where the devices were made. Those students then presented their proposals to a panel of experts drawn from outside the school district.

Goodman said the new Long Lots library media center will be more flexible than the existing library, with movable furniture that allows students to group together to learn more easily -- a tenet of Westport 2025.

Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon commended the gift on Monday night.

"This will be a far more enjoyable and comfortable place for students and teachers to spend time and really enjoy the world of books," Landon said