DECATUR – The Decatur Public Library will make technology and mentors available to at-risk Decatur youth through a state grant that helps children who lack Internet access at home, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced today.

Library officials were awarded a $12,200 grant from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Project Next Generation program.

“If we expect children to succeed as adults, we have to narrow the digital divide,” Manar said. “This grant helps to ensure that children who don’t have computers or the Internet at home can enjoy access to these vital tools at the local library.”

Project Next Generation grants, funded by the Illinois State Library, allow public libraries to pair technology with tutoring to help students between 10 and 18 develop skills they may find useful in school and later in the workforce. Grants are awarded based upon community need and allow access to technology and computers that typically would not be available to the participating students.

The goal of the grant is to increase at-risk students’ confidence through project-based learning, reinforce their abilities and learning, enhance their ability to deal with life experiences and the future, and more.

The Decatur Public Library is at 130 N. Franklin St. and online at decaturlibrary.org.

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