WARREN — Four local libraries in the Mahoning Valley are receiving an influx of grants to expand learning and literacy efforts for students.
The Ohio Department of Education awarded a portion of the $5 million Libraries Accelerating Learning Grants to the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library, the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County at the Youngstown and Salem branches, and the Columbiana Public Library.
“Libraries can play a critical role in accelerating learning by helping students read, providing hands-on learning opportunities, and encouraging students to explore careers.” Stephanie Siddens, interim head of public education at the ODE, said.
Here’s a look at how libraries plan to use their grant money:
• The Warren-Trumbull County Public Library is using its $235,000 grant to launch a student engagement initiative that uses pop-up library services that expand community literacy and reach young people who might otherwise not have the opportunity to use the library. With the implementation of pop-up services, W-TCPL will greatly expand the potential for building and strengthening partnerships with local schools, students and community organizations serving youth.
• The Youngstown and Mahoning County Public Library, through a partnership with Salem Library, will use its $179,863 in grant funds to support Kitchen Literacy, a program that invites learners of all ages to get involved in making healthy, fun snacks participate while developing greater literacy, resilience, math, teamwork, kitchen safety and sequencing skills.
PLYMC also intends to expand its First Lego League (FLL) with programs being offered in stores throughout Mahoning County and outside of at local schools and after-school/summer programs. This program received $152,038.
• Columbiana Public Library grant funds of $145,420 benefit a joint program with Salem Public Library that provides regular tutoring by experienced licensed teachers for grades K-12 and an after-school enrichment program two days per week. Enrichment programs allow students to learn in a hands-on environment and focus on science, technology, and math.