The Port Washington Public Library received a $10,000 grant this week that will be used to expand its programs.
“As you know we are renovating the children’s library, and that is a big expense,” said library Director Nancy Curtin. “We’re going to extend into the children’s garden, which will also have educational elements.”
Curtin said the money would also help with educational programs offered to children from kindergarten to grade 12.
“We’re looking to … do more of our STEM program, to teach kids about science and technology,” she said.
The grant was secured by state Sen. Elaine Phillips and is part of the 2017 “bullet aid,” which was designated to help fund educational programs for children. The amount that each senator can give out through these grants is determined by the leaders of the party that controls the chamber, meaning that in the Senate, Republicans get the most grants.
Philips recently toured the library and learned about some of the programs provided to Port Washington residents.
“As someone who recognizes the great importance of our local libraries, it was an honor to secure this funding, which will help play a crucial role in shaping the education of children in our community,” Phillips said in a statement.
Although Curtin singled out the STEM program, she said the money would help with a variety of other classes and services.
“We have the parent child home program where we go to homes of children who may need additional help for school readiness,” she said. “We’re doing some wonderful tech programs for teens and adults and culture programs for adults.”
Classes on technology have been wildly popular. Curtin said that this year, the library started a class that demonstrated some tips and tricks for using an iPhone.
“And the class was mobbed, absolutely mobbed,” she said.
Curtin is especially proud of the classes that provide a significant service in the lives of attendees. She mentioned the Books for Dessert program, a book club for adults with developmental disabilities. When Phillips came to visit the library, she singled out a class teaching English as a second language.
The grant will be an enormous help in continuing and expanding these programs, Curtin said, adding that “$10,000 is significant.” She said, “This represents 10 percent of our budget [for programs] so it is a big boost to our funding.”