The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The two-year grant will provide general operating support and Sno-Isle Libraries plans to use the funds to continue early literacy efforts and programs with a focus on social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. According to a library foundation announcement, the funding will help ensure all customers are represented in the library and have equitable access to knowledge and resources.
The grant will also help Sno-Isle Libraries address current and emerging needs, such as demonstration libraries and capital improvements throughout the library district.
“Philanthropy plays an essential role in the long-term success of public libraries, and we are extremely pleased and appreciative of the generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” said Christina Kourteva, executive director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. “This substantial grant is a testament to the value of public libraries, and the foundation looks forward to investing the funds in expanding the reach of library services, promoting civic engagement, and fostering a lifetime of learning.“
Programs supported by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation include Third-Graders Read Together, which encourages third graders in nearly 100 schools in Snohomish and Island counties to have fun and enjoy reading while honing their literacy and teamwork skills; Summer Reading, which helps students strengthen and retain critical skills gained during the school year; Express Lockers, which provide 24/7 access to library materials; enhancing the Sno-Isle Libraries collections; providing funding for the acquisition of laptop computers and Wi-Fi hotspots to help bridge the Digital Divide for economically stressed families and students, and more.
Learn more about the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation here.