The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Innovia Foundation awards grant to Friends of the Library

Friends of Whitman County Library among several nonprofits to receive community-based grants
The libary will be receiving a $5,000 grant for their summer reading program

The Innovia Foundation awarded the Friends of Whitman County Public Library a grant to help fund community-based projects

Cody Allen, Whitman County rural library district executive director, said the Friends of the Library received a $5,000 grant from Innovia, a community foundation which partners with organizations in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho on community-based projects. The library has worked with Innovia multiple times in the past.

“They’ve been really good supporters in a variety of ways. They also worked with us when they’ve had their community book clubs, we’ve kind of helped them promote that,” Allen said. “We always look forward to working with them in any capacity. We’re really grateful for their support.”

Allen said Friends of Whitman County Public Library is a nonprofit organization that has worked in tandem with the library for over 30 years. Much of their support comes in the form of fundraising and administering the center in Colfax. 

“They provide anything from extra funds for giveaways for an event or sometimes they provide funding for us to bring professionals or authors in to do special events here at the library,” Allen said. “Essentially it’s just a nonprofit volunteer organization that tries to support the library however it can.”

This grant has been awarded along with grants to several other local nonprofits, such as the St. James Episcopal Church and Adventist Community Services, Allen said. The library staff had begun planning how to use the grant earlier in the year.

“Broadly speaking, since the summer reading theme is ‘All Together Now,’” he said. “We are asking all of our branches to use the funds to do some sort of big community-centered program.”

Youth services manager Sheri Miller applied for the grant in the early months of this year. Miller said the Innovia Foundation’s main help to the library has been through awarding them grants in the past.

“I received word that they accepted it May 22,” Miller said. “The request process was fairly short. We have until 2024 to complete it.”

The grant itself was a community grant, which is why the library decided to use it in this way, Miller said. Every year the library’s branches hold a summer reading program, which is geared around encouraging the community to read.

“What they specified was health and well-being to try to target these subjects, education and youth development, economic opportunity and hoping that it will improve the quality of life,” Miller said.

A few examples of how the different branches plan to utilize the grant money include Malden, which will be using it to fund community block parties, and Garfield, which is using it to fund a CPR and first aid course, Allen said.

“There were a couple communities doing barbecues. Four of the communities are having a performer come and doing a family-type show,” Miller said. “Some other ones had booked professional programs also.”

The library has applied for a grant from Innovia to help with their summer reading program in previous years, Allen said. The summer reading program runs from June 1 to August 31, and at least 98% of the funds are planned to be used by the program’s completion.

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JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen news co-editor
Josiah is a sophomore broadcast journalism and broadcast production double major. He is from Lakewood, Washington and began working for the Evergreen in Fall 2021.
MIKAYLA FINNERTY, Editor-in-chief
Mikayla is a journalist, illustrator, and photographer for The Daily Evergreen. She was the Social Media Editor for Spring 2022, and Managing editor for Fall 2022. She is a multimedia journalism major and plans to graduate in 2023. Mikayla enjoys reading, baking, and drawing in her free time.