For the second year in a row FedEx Corporation has awarded the Cranbury Public Library Foundation a grant – this one being for $3,500. The funds will be used to equip and furnish the Teen and Creative Space in new library. “We are looking to purchase a charging station, media table and stools, and a large screen monitor so teens can easily collaborate and work together on projects,” said Marilynn Mullen, library director. “We were fortunate to receive a grant last year as well and used the funds to purchase several Chromebooks. These have been very popular with the after school crowd in the library.”
In all, FedEx has donated a total of $6,750 toward the New Teen and Creative Space – a S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Initiative. “The library has been using the Chromebooks for coding classes, engineering challenges, and maker projects,” commented Jay Oliver, the Technology Specialist at the library. “I used some of the grant money to purchase a Raspberry Pi and will incorporate that equipment into our fall class schedule.”
Cranbury Township is looking to receive the remaining funding needed to construct a new library through the NJ Construction Bond Act passed last year by the voters. Draft regulations for the Bond Act applications have been sent to the various state agencies involved. The final form is slated to appear in the New Jersey Register this fall. “The Library Board has been anticipating what information and documents will be required in the application,” stated Library Board President, Kirstie Venanzi. “We are confident that we have whatever materials the State Library will require. Our project has been in the planning process for nearly 10 years and is shovel-ready. We have over $2 million raised so we easily meet the requirements for a 1:1 match of grant funds.”
The ultimate goal of the FedEx grants is to equip the Teen and Creative Space in the new library. FedEx Corporation offers charitable grants to programs that assist teens and young adults in learning skills that lead to greater access to jobs and opportunity, especially in the fields of technology and logistics. To be successful in today’s world it is imperative for teens to have a basic understanding of technology, including computer coding and engineering, as well as to develop collaborative skills. Currently Cranbury has no space for teens to congregate and work together productively. This initiative will give teens the equipment, training in its use, and the space to work together. Learning these skills will open new opportunities to them and help them to succeed in future endeavors.