Better Together

In 2018, Foellinger Foundation announced two of its Signature grants:

·       $1 million three-year grant to the Allen County Public Library for the Summer Learning Program

·       $2.6 million three-year grant to Taylor University for the Summer Clubhouse program

This summer, these programs built upon their relationship to create a partnership that will benefit Allen County’s children even more.

Allen County Public Library Summer Learning Program

The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) Summer Learning program is designed to serve as a bridge between school sessions, maintaining educational skills for all young people who are most at risk, thus preventing the “summer slide.” Research shows that students who do not engage in learning activities over the summer slide behind their peers when they reenter school in the fall. In addition to reaching young children and families, the Summer Learning Program also employs teens as a part of Team Read. This component offers teens an income, social and soft skills, communication training, financial literacy and additional valuable skills.  


Taylor University Summer Clubhouse

The Taylor University Summer Clubhouse program operates at seven locations and provides programming for youth that encourages positive social, emotional and academic development. The Clubhouse program develops relationship skills and self-confidence in over 600 children; provides opportunities for family involvement; and reinforces academic skills throughout the summer. 


Better Together

Both programs work to strengthen children and families. While individually these programs connect with a large number of the community’s children, together they have developed ways to have greater impact.

Staff at Taylor University and Allen County Public Library have met to better understand one another’s programs and how they can go beyond working together—to partnering.

Site leaders at the Summer Clubhouse took the connection beyond a field trip to the Allen County Public Library, and ACPL also made visits to the Summer Clubhouse as well. ACPL brought books to give away and signed up families for library cards on site.

Both parties also wanted to ensure that the books children earn by tracking their time through ACPL’s traditional Summer Learning “20 minutes a day” model are books that have meaning for them. The teachers worked to help children earn a book that they love and that they can share with their whole family.

“We know that creating deep connections to reading sets students up for lifelong success. We know that engaging parents is key. This year, through community partners sitting down at the same table and talking about our same goals, we set up a powerful foundation.” – Marra Honeywell, Youth Services Manager, Allen County Public Library

“This has developed into a delightful collaboration between the library and Summer Clubhouse. The reading program for the children will be stronger than ever because of joint efforts. Thank you for making this connection!” – Sherri Harter, Chief of Staff, Taylor University

Foellinger Foundation supports effective organizations that work to strengthen children and families. We are proud to support organizations that leverage their resources to more effectively serve our children and families.