Pequot Library receives grant for school outreach initiatives

Pequot Library recently received a $10,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation that will help the Library further develop its already successful school outreach initiative. Since the Fall of 2014, Pequot Library has welcomed close to 2,000 students in grades K-12 through college, from 18 different schools in Fairfield and Bridgeport, to participate in interdisciplinary education programs planned in conjunction with Pequot’s ongoing series of Special Collections exhibitions.

Pequot Library is home to more than 30,000 items in its Special Collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archives. Through tailored, educational, interdisciplinary field trips, the school outreach program shares these important materials from the past with the students of Fairfield and beyond. “We are so grateful to Fairfield County’s Community Foundation for its support, which allows us to expand our access to students throughout Fairfield County,” said executive director Stephanie J. Coakley. All school programs are free and bus transportation is complimentary, so no cost is passed along to families.

Coakley adds, “Through generous foundations like Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Pequot Library is able to provide free and low-cost concerts, dance performances, art exhibitions, rare book/history/cultural exhibitions, art and art history lectures and workshops, cultural discussions, and literary programs throughout the year for people of all ages in Fairfield County.”

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations, and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards and has awarded $180 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit fccfoundation.org.

During each school visit, students experience a tour of Pequot Library, including its history and architecture, led by a core group of skilled volunteers. The students then explore exhibitions featuring archival material from the Special Collections and engage in hands-on art or writing projects. These interactive, cross-disciplinary, immersive experiences synthesize what students have learned during their visit with what they are learning in the classroom.

Pequot Library’s Special Collections exhibitions for the 2017-2018 academic year include The Great War and the United States Home Front, an interactive look at what life was like in the United States during World War I; Holidays in Books and Print, an exploration of children’s literature from the 18th century through today; and Living in the New World, highlighting the Library’s stunning collection of early Americana.  For more information about school tours, contact Jean Kaul, School & Group Tour Manager, at [email protected]

For more information about the Pequot Library, visit pequotlibrary.org, or call 203-259-0346, ext. 115.

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