Written by Elyse Belarge Thursday, 27 June 2013 00:00
The Port Washington Library Foundation recently received a $5000 grant from the Angela and Scott Jaggar Foundation for a group called “Books for Dessert”. This library program was created 9 years ago as a way to help adults over the age of 21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities participate in book discussion groups. The groups meet each week under the instruction of trained leaders to read good stories, meet new friends, and learn while eating dessert and having fun too.
“Books for Dessert” is the first program of its kind awarded an Adult Literacy Services Grant by the New York State Library division of the New York State Education Department. It was started to help students who aged out of the school district have access to programs that continued to improve or maintain literacy skills.
The Angela and Scott Jaggar Foundation is “very excited about what Books for Dessert is doing.” The mission of the Foundation is to support efforts to help improve people’s lives through education. As an advocate for improved literacy among children and adults alike, Angela Jaggarsaid “I can’t think of a better way to help people with literacy than this program.” The Foundation believes that the program deserves this grant because it’s opening opportunities for people who wouldn’t have them.
The grant will have a split purpose. According to Lee Fertitta, one of the leaders of the program, the grant will help to maintain the program and facilitate developing an evaluation from scratch. Fertitta has high hopes for the future of “Books for Dessert”. There are currently 3 classes meeting on a weekly basis, with about 35 people ranging from ages 21 to 65. The staff of the program is looking to start by creating a connection with surrounding school districts to make a transition from school programs to “Books for Dessert”. The program is also hoping to expand all over the country to help other people in similar situations.
If you would like to get involved or know anyone who would benefit from the program, call the library at 516-883-4400, and ask for Lee Fertitta.