Sen. Andy Manar

DECATUR – The Decatur Public Library is the recipient of a $14,600 mentoring grant from the Illinois secretary of state, State Senator Andy Manar announced.

The grant was awarded through the FY20 Project Next Generation program, which is a mentoring program administered through Illinois public libraries. Mentors work with middle and high school students to help them develop skills needed to use technology and find success through project-based learning. Mentors also help with developing life skills, such as effective communication, goal setting and conflict resolution.

Decatur is one of 29 public libraries in the state to receive the grant.

“I’m glad to see that the secretary of state is committed to investing in public libraries and underserved youth in Illinois,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “This grant will help provide at-risk students in Decatur with the tools they need to be successful both now and in the future when pursue a college degree or prepare to enter the job market.”

In all, the secretary of state awarded more than $464,000 in Project Next Generation grants statewide. The money is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grants are awarded to public libraries that serve culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.

“I am committed to improving the lives of at-risk youth in Illinois,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. “I established this innovative program when I first became secretary of state to give students an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with the latest technological tools at their local library.”

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