King County Library System Foundation Programs
Our three main program areas are Literacy
, and Libraries
. KCLS Foundation supports KCLS programs for children, teens, and adults. Below is a brief description of a few programs with the greatest impact for individuals and communities.
Summer Learning Program
Funding for story times, book talks, and educational programs at summer meal sites throughout King County with emphasis on south county locations. KCLS provided outreach to over 20,000 children through 147 visits to 40 sites in the summer of 2014. Thousands of free books were handed out for each child to start their own home library.
The Foundation provides funding in support of reader incentives and completion awards to kids and teens who complete the summer reading challenges and underwrites bus service to bring summer school youth to the library for programs.
Creating a Community Mosaic at the New Tukwila Library
The Foundation is raising $1 million for the new Tukwila Library. Funding from the Foundation secures an extra 2,000 square feet as a community meeting space for group activities, classes, cultural events, programs, and citizenship ceremonies for this multicultural community.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
One of our patrons' greatest needs is helping students succeed in school. With support from donors, we can expand programs and resources that match the demand and the need for library services in our libraries, in our schools, and in our neighborhoods. Current projects focus on reaching out to ethnically diverse and underserved parts of our service area.
Our recent success with the Let's Read! program helps reduce the "summer slide." On average, during the summer break, kids lose about two months of math skills. And low-income children lose an additional two months in reading achievement. This occurs in part because parents do not have the time or the resources to read to their children. It is also because they do not have the time or ability to take their child to the visit the library. As the child grows older, the achievement gap widens.
Even if children from different income levels learn at the same rate in the classroom, by the time a child from a lower-income household reaches the 5th grade, she will have experienced five “summer slides” and be 2.5 years behind her classmates. Public libraries and free summer programs are essential to stopping the summer slide especially for low-income and minority families that may not be able to afford, not know of, or not have access to enrichment activities over the summer.
One of our current needs is to fund Let's Read! for 2016 and beyond to keep kids engaged over the summer months.