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New York Life Foundation Awards $600,000 to Support Educational Enhancement Programs for Youth at Public Libraries Throughout the Five Boroughs

NEW YORK, NY, June 8, 2011 — The New York Life Foundation announced today grants totaling $600,000 to three public library systems offering educational enhancement opportunities for culturally diverse students in need of school , college and career services in Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. The Foundation made three, two-year grants of $200,000 each to the Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Connections program, the New York Public Library’s teen programs and the Queens Library’s Youth Workforce Development program.

“We are pleased to support libraries that offer a wide range of programs and services that build essential skills and provide access to resources to New York City’s young people free of charge,” said Marlyn Torres, assistant vice president, New York Life Foundation. “Helping students form a strong academic foundation increases their chances for success in their careers and their lives.”

The Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Connections helps eighth-grade students explore the Brooklyn Collection archives, located at the Central Library, to complete their social studies “exit projects” — a New York City Department of Education requirement for graduation. The Foundation’s grant will help enhance the current program to serve more middle school students and eventually expand it to three area high schools.

The New York Public Library’s (NYPL’s) Teen Advisory Groups at 30 libraries throughout the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island provide support for youth without educational or technological resources at home and serve as an after-school safe haven. The grant from the New York Life Foundation supports teen programming in the following neighborhood libraries:

  • Bronx – Bronx Library Center (in Bedford Park), Grand Concourse, Pelham Bay, and West Farms
  • Manhattan – Bloomingdale (on the Upper West Side), Grand Central, and Inwood
  • Staten Island – St. George Library Center

In addition to the teen programming, the grant will help NYPL formalize its college and career development programming and host 12 college and career fairs at various branches, which will feature representatives from CUNY and other colleges and universities, and offer career development support with workshops on resume writing, interview skills and business etiquette.

The New York Life Foundation’s grant to the Queens Library’s Youth Workforce Development Program will support its youth employees, who provide a range of support services, including homework help and academic tutoring to disadvantaged school-age children. Approximately 100 youth employees assist thousands of children each weekday at the library’s after-school programs at its branch libraries; the Workforce Development program provides training courses on business etiquette, job interviewing and customer service, and youth employees receive on-the-job training and college preparation services throughout the year.

About The New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $140 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of safe places to learn and grow, educational enhancement opportunities and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Life program. To learn more, please visit the Foundation's Web site at