Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White awarded $627,624 in 2023 Project Next Generation (PNG) grants to 30 public libraries statewide to support the mentoring program.

PNG grants provide for mentors to work with middle and high school students to develop skills using various technologies. The at-risk students learn to achieve success through project-based learning, and gain life skills, such as effective communication, goal setting and conflict resolution, a news release says.

“I am committed to improving the lives of at-risk youth in Illinois,” said White. “I established this innovative program when I first became secretary of state to give students an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with the latest technological tools at their local library. I am proud that this program is entering its 24th year and continues to help young students position themselves for success.”

PNG grant recipients include:

  • Moline Public Library – $16,920
  • Robert R. Jones Public Library District (Coal Valley) – $24,423
  • Rock Island Public Library – $1,300

Projects were awarded grants from the Illinois State Library using federal Library Services and Technology Act funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grants are awarded to public libraries serving culturally diverse, low-income and under-served populations. For more information, visit here.