Boston – The Boston Foundation has announced a grant of $25,000 to help underwrite the Boston Public Library’s Summer Reading Program in city neighborhoods. The program is designed to encourage young readers to strengthen their reading skills during the summer vacation. The grant was made without restrictions, to be used as the leadership at the library saw fit, at a time of exceptional financial stress for the institution.
In addition to the Summer Reading Program, the grant will provide funds for the implementation of an outreach plan in the four communities with branch libraries slated for closure. The outreach will include the rollout of key library services in these communities including story hours, afterschool programming, and computer training.
“Boston is blessed with one of the great library systems in the country, and we are honored to have the opportunity join them in their ongoing effort to cultivate reading skills for our children across the city,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “This program promotes a critical life skill—and is an invitation to children to get to know their local branch library.”
The Summer Reading program also includes the annual Read Your Way to Fenway contest. That program, which is supported in part by the Bank of America, invites readers up to the age of 17 to compete by reading three books and writing an essay about their favorite. Winners get to attend a Red Sox game at Fenway Park and grand prize winners are invited out in the ball park at the start of the game. This year’s Summer Reading program is titled “Go Green @ Your Library” and features programs and events on themes of recycling and environmental awareness. Lists of books to read can be found at branch libraries, and the Boston Public School summer reading list can also be tapped as a source of inspiration.
“Libraries are more important than ever, especially in the lives of young people,” said Amy E. Ryan, President of the Boston Public Library. “Last year, we saw almost 100,000 children and teens using their library card in Boston. We are honored that the Boston Foundation is providing support to our summer reading program and helping us continue to connect to the young people we serve across the city.”
About the Boston Foundation
The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with assets of $682 million. In Fiscal Year 2009, the Foundation and its donors made over $95 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of over $81 million. The Foundation is made up of some 900 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community’s and region’s most pressing challenges. For more information about the Boston Foundation, visit www.tbf.org or call 617-338-1700.
About the Boston Public Library
For more than 160 years, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library was the first publicly supported municipal library in America, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Today, the Boston Public Library boasts a Central Library, 26 neighborhood branches, free wireless internet access, two unique restaurants, and a robust web site. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts nearly 12,000 programs, answers more than one million reference questions, and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibits are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. For more information about the Boston Public Library, visit www.bpl.org or call 617-536-5400.