The Groton Public Library announced on April 15 that it was the recipient of three grants from The Bernard Carl and Shirley Rosen Library Fund of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County worth $15,770 in total.
The Bernard Carl and Shirley Rosen Library Fund, according to the Finger Lakes Library System’s website, seeks to promote genuine intellectual curiosity and a lifelong love of reading and learning by encouraging youth to develop habits of regular library use.
The grant money will be used to fund three reading programs – Read2Grow, LEAP (Library Elementary Assistance Program) Plus and Leap into Reading – for the year.
Read2Grow is a fairly new non-profit organization that focuses on the enrichment of early literacy by providing families with children of two years old one book per month. The organization partnered with the library last year to put on events at its location, though the COVID-19 pandemic put that on hold.
Erin D’Antonio, a literacy coach at the Groton Elementary School and the founder of Read2Grow, said she is looking forward to utilizing the program’s partnership with the library to achieve its objectives for children in the community as conditions improve.
“We could do more event planning, which we couldn’t do this year, but that was our goal to be able to hold events at the library also,” D’Antonio said of the decision to partner with the library. “In year one we held events only at the school. … Moving forward, we’ll be able to have those in both locations, really building that community for kids and families at both the school and the library to show that those are both great places for them to reach out to, to build community, to meet more families like themselves, and build that foundation in literacy.”
LEAP Plus will be geared towards third, fourth and fifth grade students starting in the spring of 2022 – it was originally geared towards just third graders – having those students attend the library for different programming, such as visits from authors or other types of presenters, and giving each student a free book plus a healthy snack. Leap to Reading will start in the fall of 2021 where third, fourth and fifth grade students will receive a book as well as a craft kit.
Library Director Sara Knobel said she was overjoyed when hearing that the library won all three grants.
“I would say probably 95 percent – [maybe] higher than that – of the programming, particularly the youth programming, is paid for by grants,” Knobel said. “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them. So it’s a real asset to not just the library, but the community.”