Grant Give to St. Marys Public Library Summer Reading Program.

Representatives of the Saint Marys Public Library and the Elk County Community Foundation met recently to review and give funding for the popular summer reading program held at the Library each summer. Nearly $900 came from two different Funds held a the Elk County Community Foundation (ECCF) to benefit the Library.

Some of the dollars distributed came from the St. Marys Public Library Endowment Fund which had been set up over 8 years ago by some local community leaders. The rest of the grant came from a fund set up for the Library when the Kiwanis Club disbanded. They put their left over treasury in a fund with the Foundation, for the St. Marys Public Library that was designated especially for Children’s Programming.

The St. Marys Public Library’s Summer Reading Program reached an all time high registration with 700 local children registering in 2008. The kids have a great time reading, participating in programs and activities, winning awards and prizes all summer long. This year’s theme is Be Creative @ Your Library, focusing on art and self expression.
The focus of the program is to ensure that children maintain their reading level during the summer when they are out of the classroom. Any child who completes the program by reading 10 books or 500 pages from June through August receives a free item from our Scholastic Book Fair held at the close of the program.

The annual Summer Reading Program has been especially successful in St. Marys, which is why it was such set-back when all funding was cut from the program in 2006. Prior to 2006, the program was completely funded with Family Literacy funds through the Even Start Program. When Even Start funding was cut, the library had to make a decision to either raise funds or stop having the Summer Reading Program. There was no question what had to be done.
Forging ahead, the Library turned to local businesses, organizations, and individuals for help in funding this worthwhile program which costs approximately $8,000 per year.

The community has rallied behind the library and made it possible to continue to not only hold the Summer Reading Program, but to watch it grow with more and more children registering every year. Every donor can rest assured that their contribution is going to the betterment of our community’s future.

The library has begun its annual fundraising drive for the Summer Reading Program. The library would appreciate donations from anyone who is interested in insuring the success of the 2009 Summer Reading Program. This year’s goal is to raise at least $5,000 to cover the majority of the cost.

Registration for Be Creative @ Your Library begins June 1st.

ECCF is a non profit organization that manages endowed funds established by donors for area non profit organizations as wells as administers a number of scholarships for individuals and groups. Donor gifts to the Foundations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.