Grant to Link Charleston Library to Eastern Illinois University | Education

CHARLESTON – The Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation is pleased to announce the award of $ 26,980.78 to the Charleston Carnegie Public Library as part of the Southeastern Illinois COVID-19 Relief Fund’s latest round of funding.

The Charleston Carnegie Public Library received funds for the “Coles County COVID-19 Assistance Program” effective January 2022. The goal of the new program will be to connect county residents with the resources available to them, while creating an impactful internship position for EIU students.

The program will also serve as a link between the various service and resource organizations throughout Coles County, in the hopes of helping everyone better reach and serve the residents of Coles County.

The program will be overseen by Library Director Chris Houchens and will be led by students from Eastern Illinois University, as this program will create a paid internship or paid independent study with departments at EIU, including the College of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Health. Houchens will work with these colleges and departments to select graduate or undergraduate students for a degree that will be a version of the work that this program encompasses.

Houchens says, “With the physical location of the library in Charleston, we are ready to immediately start helping people in the county. We will build new relationships and consolidate existing ones with county social service organizations to ensure we are able to provide the most accurate information and referrals possible. As a public library, we have pre-existing relationships with a variety of service organizations in our area, and we will be able to use these relationships to help initiate and establish this program.

The Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, in partnership with the Lumpkin Family Foundation, created the Southeastern Illinois COVID-19 Relief Fund to support organizations directly serving residents and families most affected by the pandemic. A fund advisory committee manages the Southeastern Illinois COVID-19 Relief Fund.

The Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation operates more than 180 affiliate funds for the immediate and long-term benefit of communities in Southeastern Illinois.

Harry D. Gonzalez