With your help, the KCLS Foundation is providing funding to the following library programs and initiatives in 2019.
To learn more about past program support, visit the Annual Reports and Newsletters page.
Thanks to your generous support, ideaX classes, workshops, and drop-in sessions are helping to expose more of our neighbors to valuable STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) learning opportunities and the creative technology that is driving our local economy.
What started as a dream in 2015 has become an expanding mobile outreach program and a cutting-edge, permanent space for creativity on the Eastside — free to anyone with a library card. The Bellevue Library ideaX Makerspace features three creative studios, a sound and video recording space, a laser cutter and 3D printer, virtual reality equipment, smart sewing and cutting machines, musical instruments, art kits, and music mixing equipment.
Summer is a library’s time to shine — and thanks to your donations, more children are finding their love for reading during the summer months. Programs like Summer Reading help prevent the dreaded “Summer Slide.” Many children, especially struggling readers, lose what they learned during the year when school’s out. And by 5th grade, that annual loss in skills means they can be years behind their peers.
But Summer Reading at our libraries changes all that. From reading challenges to fun and educational events, librarian visits to local schools, outreach in parks and community centers, and programs for teens and adults — KCLS is the place to be between June and August. And with the Summer Meals program we are feeding young minds and growing bodies!
Raising A Reader
Raising A Reader is a national take-home book program that promotes the shared reading experience, parent-child bonding, regular library usage, and development of early literacy skills.
This year, KCLS partnered with the YMCA and Southwest Youth and Family Services to reach 70 low-income families, promoting book sharing routines between parents and children to develop early literacy skills.
Global Reading Challenge
Global Reading Challenge is a Battle of the Books competition for 4th and 5th graders. Each team reads six books selected by KCLS Children’s Librarians, working together to answer questions based on the books.
The teams work their way through multiple rounds of competition. Last year, a total of 6,888 students participated, forming 238 teams from 54 schools. Although competitive, the Global Reading Challenge is all about having fun with reading!
Fiestas and DÍA Celebrations
Fiestas (Early Literacy Parties) is a KCLS initiative with a long history of success addressing gaps in educational equity for our Spanish-speaking neighbors, preparing children 0-5 for Kindergarten.
DÍA is National Children’s Book Day! KCLS joins other library systems nationwide for an annual celebration of multiculturalism, reading, and families.
Literacy Towards Citizenship
To help those preparing for the US Naturalization Test, KCLS offers the popular Literacy Towards Citizenship class. This weekly course is staffed by dedicated volunteers who offer free test preparation help, access to study materials, and a welcome face for our newest neighbors.
Plazas Comunitarias helps Spanish-speaking adult learners earn their primary and secondary education certificates from the Mexican Consulate, helping them achieve the next step in their career. Last year Plazas celebrated 14 graduates.
Startup 425 Foundations is a series of workshops for new and prospective entrepreneurs. It brings together innovators, business advisors, and entrepreneurs for a broad overview of the startup process. KCLS has partnered with Startup 425 and SCORE to bring the Foundations series to five Eastside libraries, held weekly in the evenings.
To encourage lifelong learning, the KCLS Foundation is sponsoring programs for older audiences ranging from practical to thought-provoking to just plain fun. Wisdom Cafés, a conversation group for older adults, encourages the sharing of life experiences. The Arts and Tech Fest gives adults and seniors the opportunity to experiment with the arts and technology in a fun, low-stress atmosphere. And caregivers are receiving resources to connect and de-stress.