WESTFIELD, NJ —  Westfield has received a 2018 Library Grant of $3,750 for its public library, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced. The grants are designed to assist public libraries with funding that enriches and supports children’s programming.

The 2018 Library Grants are funded by non-tax dollars through the Union County Kids Recreation Trust Fund.

Each of the 20 municipalities with a public library that applied for a 2018 Library Grant and received an award of $3,750, according to the county. The other municipalities are: Berkeley Heights, Clark, Cranford, Elizabeth, Fanwood, Garwood, Hillside, Kenilworth, Linden, Mountainside, New Providence, Plainfield, Rahway, Roselle, Roselle Park, Scotch Plains, Springfield, Summit and Union.

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This year’s awards will cover the cost of children’s programming including Mad Science and other STEM topics as well as arts enrichment, new books and computer equipment, games and activities, SAT prep and more, the county said.

“Our community is stronger when we all work together to provide every child with opportunities to learn and grow,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados in a press release. “Public libraries exemplify this community spirit, and the Freeholder Board is proud to help strengthen local library services in our municipalities.”

“The Library Grant program helps to ensure that public libraries in Union County have the resources to foster a contemporary learning environment for the next generation. Up-to-date programming and equipment is especially important in terms of helping children to prepare for careers in STEM and related fields,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, who initiated the grant program in 2016.

“Hands-on learning through individual and group activities is the foundational experience that libraries provide, and they are an essential part of the recreational resources for children in Union County,” said Freeholder Alexander Mirabella, chairman of the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. 

The Library Grants Program supports the goals of Chairman Granados’s 2018 Moving Union County Forward “Plant a Seed” initiative to encourage lifelong learning, individual empowerment and giving back to the community.