$800K heading to R.I. libraries from federal support program
A federal program created by legislation U.S. Sen. Jack Reed wrote has awarded nearly $800,000 to three R.I. institutions to help overcome adult literacy problems and better prepare children to learn in today's media-rich environment.
WASHINGTON – The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services has allocated nearly $800,000 in competitive grants to three Rhode Island institutions to support programs for adults and children.
Thanks to the Museum and Library Services Act of 2010, authored by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, the Providence Public Library and partner Cranston Public Library are expected to use $498,172 to create a program to help adults gain increased access to digital resources, including adult education and workforce services. The program is designed to help adults with low educational achievement, poor English and digital literacy skills, and disabilities. The Providence Public Library will provide a matching grant of $781,834 for the program.
The Providence Community Library expects to use its $250,000 grant, along with providing a matching grant of $88,516, to create a school readiness program, “Ready for K!” with Ready to Learn Providence. The initiative is designed to help children who are entering kindergarten but have not had any formal schooling before then start school better prepared to learn in an unfamiliar setting.
The final grant, $50,000, will go to the University of Rhode Island to develop a program for librarians and library science students to understand how better to use children’s films and digital media to increase literacy.
The three grants were part of a national program that is handing out $14.7 million to 62 library projects, out of 285 applications. In addition to the federal money, $9.9 million in matching grants were generated to fund the projects.
“I commend these public libraries and their community partners on winning these prestigious grants,” said Reed in a statement. Last year the Rhode Island Democrat received two of the library community’s highest national honors: the Crystal Apple from the American Association of School Librarians and Honorary Membership from the American Library Association.