BISMARCK, N.D., Sept. 1, 2023 – State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said Friday that nine North Dakota community libraries will share $360,000 in grants to reimburse their costs for providing summer reading and engagement activities and buying K-12 library materials.
“These libraries are among those across North Dakota that stepped up during the summer to serve their young people and their communities,” Baesler said. “It is heartening to see the variety of activities that were offered to promote literacy and community togetherness. These programs are so valuable, especially for young parents who are searching for wholesome, knowledge-building things for their children to do during the summertime.”
Public libraries in Beulah, Dickinson, Grand Forks and Mandan, which is a joint operation with Morton County, will receive $50,000 each in grants, Baesler said. The Carrington, New Town, Williston and Divide County libraries are being awarded $35,000 each. The Cando Community Library will receive $20,000.
To qualify for grants, the libraries provided the Department of Public Instruction with summaries of their summer engagement efforts. Baesler, who is a former chairwoman of the Mandan library board, said the variety of activities showed the creativity of library administrators and community supporters.
“Reading and the promotion of reading was a major part of these activities, but that wasn’t all,” Baesler said. “There was dancing, painting, quilting, crafts, magic, solving jigsaw puzzles, LEGO construction, outdoor movies, talks by local authors, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics projects. And that is just scratching the surface.”
The grant money was provided by North Dakota’s share of federal COVID-19 relief funds.