Suffolk Public Library awarded 2019 ALSC/Candlewick Press Light the Way Grant

For Immediate Release
Wed, 03/06/2019


Elizabeth Serrano

Membership Marketing Specialist

American Library Association


The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that Suffolk Public Library is the recipient of the 2018-2019 ALSC/Candlewick Press "Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved" Grant. As the winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 for their ­­­­summer enrichment program, “Mess Hall on the Loose.”  

The Light the Way Grant, which honors Newbery medalist and Geisel winner Kate DiCamillo, is now in its eleventh year. Although originally conceived as a one-time award, it has continued to be presented with the kind generosity of Candlewick Press. 

With this grant, the Suffolk Public Library (Morgan Memorial Library) is extending their Mess Hall summer food program. It will allow them to take a select number of 7 to 14-year-olds on field trips to community institutions throughout the summer. The community served by the library system’s main branch, the Morgan Memorial Library has poverty rates over 40%, and as such, many of these children cannot afford summer enrichment programs which are critical in extending the learning beyond the school year.

The program coordinator, Ms. Jennifer Brown, hopes that “Mess Hall” can support these children’s learning and wellbeing by not only supplying free meals, but by providing transportation to and from vital community cultural institutions.

“We’re incredibly excited to name the Suffolk Public Library as this year’s recipient,” said co-chairs, Jason Driver and Erin Lovelace. “This grant will allow for the library to facilitate trips to institutions such as; cooking classes, zoos, children’s museums, and other important community staples for the children they serve. The library has also forged a partnership with the Suffolk Visitor’s Center to realize this fantastic and impactful opportunity to combat the Summer Slide via experiences inside and outside of the library.”

“Candlewick Press is proud to be in our 11th year of sponsoring Light the Way. It is an honor to help bring special recognition to the Suffolk Public Library’s Mess Hall cultural enrichment program, which is the epitome of what Candlewick hopes to support through this annual grant – nourishing the minds and imaginations of children in disadvantaged communities. We congratulate Morgan Memorial Library on their creative summer program and on their devotion to the children in their community,” said Karen Lotz, Group Managing Director and President & Publisher of Candlewick Press.

Candlewick Press is an independent publisher based in Somerville, Mass. ( Candlewick publishes outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages , including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature emerita Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ’Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where’s Waldo?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia. 

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is driven by more than 4,000 members dedicated to the support and enrichment of library service to children. Our members include youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty. ALSC supports its members in engaging communities to build healthy, successful, futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC and how to join, please visit: .