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New Durham Library receives NH Humanities grant

May 28, 2020
NEW DURHAM — "This grant will help mitigate the digital divide in our community," New Durham Public Library Director Cathy Allyn said. "It's quite a boon."

The library has just received news of award of a $3,000 grant from the New Hampshire Humanities for general operating support funding. This grant is made possible by funding by the National Endowment of the Humanities and the federal CARES Act.

"My application indicated the need to purchase loanable electronic equipment," Allyn said. "The school loaned out Chromebooks and hot spots which will be returned in June, so we know that families out there need these things. Now we will be able to supply at least a few of them."

Allyn said it was her hope to buy a variety of electronic devices that will serve all ages.

"I'm sure the hot spots will be popular, too. There are a lot of areas around town that have poor internet access," she added.

The library's summer program, Imagine Your Story, is taking the digital divide into consideration, and ensuring children ages four through 12 can participate if they have a computer or not.

One aspect of the program is writing stories that will be performed as shadow puppet plays.

"Stories can be scanned or emailed to us," Allyn said, "but we will also have a tote on the porch where kids can drop them."

Reading logs will be online through READsquared, but, again, children may leave physical copies in the tote.

"We're having quite a reward system this year," Allyn said, "so we're anticipating families coming by weekly to pick up books and prizes."

The avatars, which normally move along a decorated wall in the Children's Room to indicate reading progress, will be prominently displayed outside this year.

"Kids will be able to wear the brag tags they earn, too," Allyn said. "We're all about showing the community that these children are amazing readers."

Anyone interested in registering for the program can call the library at 859-2201 or email newdurhamlibrary@gmail.com.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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