The Wayne County Public library has been awarded nearly $95,000 in LSTA EZ Grant funding to be used for the Learning Studio Project and the Creative Aging Program. This grant is made possible by funding from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-253645-OLS-23).
Learning Studio Project
Assistant Library Director Maegen Wilson said, “This project will provide equitable access to children ages 4-13 with learning differences such as Dyslexia, ADHD, other specified learning disorders, or who otherwise struggle with reading and writing. The project will provide the library an opportunity to assist in addressing learning loss recovery for children with specific learning disorders, through the creation of a resource center with workshops, resource guides, and resources that will support these children and their parents.” Sonja Emerson, Exceptional Children Executive Director for Wayne County Public Schools said, "Wayne County Public Schools Exceptional Children's Department is looking forward to the collaboration with Wayne County Public Library as community partners continually striving to provide educational information, opportunities for all Wayne County stakeholders with training and professional development, and increasing the knowledge of the citizens of our county."
Modeled after Richland Library’s Education Studio, WCPL will launch the Learning Studio, a resource center housed in the Goldsboro Library’s children’s department. This resource center will use research and evidence based curriculums to support families who have children with specific learning disabilities. The library will create monthly programming for parents and caretakers that will include but is not limited to: support groups, strategy trainings from professionals, identification information, and IEP support from Wayne County Public Schools. These programs will be designed to provide parents and caretakers with the tools and strategies they need to help their children increase their reading and comprehension skills while allowing parents to converse with each other in a supportive environment.”
Creative Aging Program
The Creative Aging project is designed to expand library services and promote lifelong learning to persons ages 55 and up. Library Director Donna Phillips said, “The library chose the Creative Aging program because this arts education program honors older adults as creative and social learners and helps shift the narrative about growing older away from a negative view to one of optimism, engagement in the community, and joy.” Anna Hinson, Programs Director for the Arts Council, said “We at the Arts Council of Wayne County truly believe that Art is for All! We are honored that the Wayne County Public Library chose us as a partner to bring high-quality arts programming to the [age] 55+ community!"
The library will use grant funds to provide training and coaching to teaching artists, librarians, and Arts Council staff. The training will be conducted by Lifetime Arts, a national arts service organization that offers a positive, modern, artistic, and social lens through which to serve, inspire, and engage a growing population of older adults.
The 2023-2024 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants include 48 awards for local library projects that advance excellence and promote equity through community engagement, equitable access, and responsive organizations in North Carolina's libraries.