NRL Blog

During these challenging times, Neuse Regional Libraries are looking to a number of sources to help support the continuing initiatives it intends to offer its community. We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded an Accelerating Promising Practices grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services in the amount of $50,000 to expand the Libraries’ STEM 4 All program.

This prestigious grant was only awarded to fifteen libraries across the country and will empower the Neuse Regional Libraries to further increase the level of digital literacy in its communities’ children by supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education.

The STEM 4 All program currently provides regular STEM programming that increases the level of literacy and love of reading of children who live in public housing in the City of Kinston. This program was originally funded by a Library Services and Technology Act grant administered by the State Library of North Carolina that was awarded in 2019. The Library has been offering the STEM 4 All programming since August of last year and it has been a tremendous success so far, making a significant difference in the lives of its participants.

The Neuse Regional Library System will use the funding provided through this grant to develop Gateways to STEM, an extension of the STEM 4 All program. Through the Gateways to STEM program, the Library will support digital inclusion by offering STEM programming after school and during summer months to grade school children at the Pink Hill Public Library.

Gateway to STEM programming will focus on reading and early literacy that will help combat the “summer slide” or deterioration in literacy skills of students during off months. The program will also increase exposure to new technologies such as virtual reality, 3D modeling, and coding for students. Thanks to the resources provided by this grant, staff will have the tools available to provide high quality programming. Computers, educational software, science supplies and STEM kits, and tablets that can be used for hands-on STEM activities at the library will be made available to students who may not otherwise have access to these resources.

Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries (APP) is a special initiative of IMLS’s National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program. APP helps strengthen the ability of small and/or rural libraries and archives to serve their communities and to build grantee capacity through participation in a community of practice. The program focuses on three areas: transforming school library practice, community memory, and digital inclusion.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. IMLS advances, supports, and empowers America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant-making, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities.

We are extremely pleased that this grant will enable us to continue improving the lives of local children while increasing their level of literacy and instilling a lifelong love of reading.

To learn more about Library services, please call 252-527-7066, Ext. 134.

Beginning June 1, all Neuse Regional Libraries are opening at reduced capacity and limited hours. Curbside services will still be available. Click here for hours of operation.