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Pledge to library benefits Children’s Summer Reading Program

The Bucks County Public Library system has received the first year’s donation – $50,000 – of a two-year pledge of $100,000 from the Fred Beans Automotive Group to fund educational programs that enrich the lives of our community’s young people.

From left, Stephanie Deeter, public services manager; Roberta Yakovich, children’s librarian; Martina Kominiarek, executive director; and Beth Beans Gilbert, vice president of Fred Beans Automotive Group, at the Bucks County Library Center in Doylestown.

The Beans organization was among the state-wide firms who qualify for tax credits in fiscal year 2011-2012 for their contributions to scholarship or educational improvement organizations through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit program (EITC). This is the first time the library has received EITC funding from the automotive group.

The library system, made up of 18 libraries including numerous small independents who share funds and resources, will use the gift to fund the 2012 and 2013 county-wide summer reading program. According to the library system’s executive director Martina Kominiarek, the program is its biggest and most popular, reaching more than 12,000 young people each year.

“We have been chipping away at the program each year because of funding cuts,” says Ms. Kominiarek. “This allows us to restore some of the features we had lost, including outreach for families whose parents do not speak English as their first language. We’ll be helping nonprofit Vita Education Services to reach those populations.”

At its core, “the goal is to keep kids reading through the summer so they don’t lose ground,” says Ms. Kominiarek. “We’re the place where they keep that going. The Beans funds will sponsor the whole program, including materials, prizes for participation and family events.”