2004-10-01 / Community

KeySpan Funds ‘Family Literacy Program’

Interim Queens Library Director Thomas Galante and Queens Library Foundation Executive Director Diana Chapin, with the support of State Assemblymember Audrey Pheffer, accept a check for $5,000 from Keyspan Foundation Executive Director Robert G. Keller and Keyspan President and COO, Robert J. Fani.
Interim Queens Library Director Thomas Galante and Queens Library Foundation Executive Director Diana Chapin, with the support of State Assemblymember Audrey Pheffer, accept a check for $5,000 from Keyspan Foundation Executive Director Robert G. Keller and Keyspan President and COO, Robert J. Fani. KeySpan Foundation recently gave a grant of $5,000 to the Queens Library to inaugurate a Family Literacy Program in the Rockaways.

Robert J. Fani, President and Chief Operating Officer of KeySpan presented the check to Interim Library Director Thomas W. Galante and Queens Library Foundation Director Diana Chapin, with the encouragement of Assemblymember Audrey Pheffer. The ceremony took place at the Peninsula Branch, where the program will be headquartered.

The Family Literacy Program’s goals are to improve the English-language literacy of the whole family, and to foster parental involvement in their children’s educations from an early age. In Queens, where almost half the population speaks a language other than English at home, even parents who are highly educated in their home countries have difficulty guiding their children through English-speaking schools. Developing reading-readiness skills in the critical pre-school years is especially important in jump-starting successful school careers. Improved literacy boosts the economic potential of the parents at the same time. 

Fani remarked  “The KeySpan Foundation is committed to supporting meaningful education opportunities like the FLP and the Foundation is thrilled to be able to bring this outstanding program to the people of the Rockaways.” Queens Library started the first Family Literacy Program in 2001 with a grant from the New York State Department of Education. It has been highly successful. There is currently a waiting list to participate. Queens Library’s Interim Director Tom Galante, remarked, “This program is completely dependent on special funding from generous corporate and foundation donors, such as the KeySpan Foundation. We simply can’t do it without their support.”

The KeySpan Foundation provides support for outstanding educational and environmental programs on a competitive basis. To learn more about the KeySpan Foundation and to apply for a grant please visit the Foundation’s site at www.keyspanenergy. com. Their page is located in the community section under the corporate information area.

The Queens Library serves a population of more than two million in the most ethnically diverse county in the United States. With 16.9 million items in circulation and 15.8 million visitors for Fiscal Year 2003, the Library continues to have the highest circulation of any public library system in the country.

For more information about library programs, services, locations, events and news, visit the Queens Library web site at www.queenslib rary. org or phone 718-990-0700.

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