The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that Swanton Public Library (SPL) in Swanton, VT is the recipient of the 2022 ALSC / Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved “Grant. As recipient of the grant, the library will receive $ 3,000 to engage and uplift the voices of their Native American community, which accounts for approximately 1.5% of the Swanton, Vermont population.
The Light the Way Grant, which honors Newbery medalist and Hostage winner Kate DiCamillo, is now in its thirteenth year. Although originally conceived as a one-time award, it has continued to be awarded through the generosity of Candlewick Press.
With this grant, the Swanton Public Library will highlight and support local Native American populations through a multidisciplinary mix of programming and activities focused on breaking down long-standing racial prejudice.
Co-chairs Erin Lovelace and Stephie Luyt state that, “The impact of Swanton’s program combined with their partnerships with Circle of Courage and the Abenaki Tribal Council made this a standout application for us. We can not wait to see what the combination of Becky’s passion, the framework of this program, and collaboration with the Abenaki Tribal Council will be. We are expecting magic. ”
“All of us at the Swanton Library are honored and thrilled to have won this year’s Light the Way grant – and are looking forward to using it to further a greater appreciation and respect for Native American heritage among all the kids of our community. We’ve got some wonderful programs lined up and can not wait to get these off the ground, ”said Rebecca Rupp, Chairperson, Swanton Public Library Trustees.
“Candlewick is delighted to be able to support Swanton Public Library in launching this important initiative through the Light the Way Grant this year. We realize the importance of a program like ‘More Than Moccasins: Native Americans Then and Now’ that celebrates Native American heritage and bring awareness to the community of the rich and diverse history and culture of the Abenaki tribe of their region.We are grateful to the staff at the Swanton Public Library for their continued hard work in identifying their community-needs and empowering young readers with knowledge and literary engagement, ”said Sawako Shirota, Manager of Library Marketing at Candlewick Press.
Candlewick Press is an independent publisher based in Somerville, Mass. (www.candlewick.com). Candlewick publishes outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature emerita Kate DiCamillo, MT Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ‘Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where’s Waldo ?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia.
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is driven by more than 4,000 members dedicated to the support and enrichment of library service to children. Our members include youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty. ALSC supports its members in engaging communities to build healthy, successful, futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC and how to join, please visit: www.ala.org/alsc.