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$10k grant funds Sumter library education kits for area daycares, leaders say

According to library leaders, they received $10,000 in grant funding to create unique kits they call ‘read, learn and grow’ boxes.

SUMTER, S.C. — Inside the Sumter County Library, the meeting room has a new purpose.

Tables have been shifted and replaced by boxes and boxes of books to be delivered to children away due to the coronavirus.

“Since the pandemic hit, during the school year, our Head Start and daycares weren’t able to come to story time like they used to,” Head of Children Services Julie Hynes said. “So, we decided to write a grant to outreach to them and get them the story time materials they so loved.”

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According to Hynes, the library received $10,000 in grant funding to create unique kits they call ‘read, learn and grow’ boxes.

“In the box, it contains 10 library books and also teacher resources along with STEM activities for the children to enjoy,” Hynes said.

Credit: Kayland Hagwood
Materials from one 'read, learn and grow' kit at the Sumter County Library.

It’s a monthly delivery that brings smiles to children and educators alike, including Barbara Brown, a teacher with Sumter’s Luv-N-Care Childcare Center.

“Oh, my God. They’re just totally awesome,” Brown said. “They just enjoy the books to death. I mean, everyday it’s like can we do another one, can we do another one and they just get so excited.”

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After playtime the kits return for cleaning.

“When they come back, the box is quarantined for about 2 weeks, and then we open it back up and we take those things out and put new ones in,” Hynes said.

Ready for another month, a new theme, and more fun stories.

The Sumter County Library is back open with restrictions. To learn more visit sumtercountylibrary.org.