For immediate release | May 22, 2023

Kenosha Public Library Receives 2023 ALSC/Candlewick Press Light the Way Grant

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that the Kenosha Public Library is the recipient of the 2023 ALSC/Candlewick Press Light the Way Grant. As the recipient of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 to expand its impactful KPL Family Night outreach program and to establish library collections at local emergency shelters.

The Light the Way Grant, which honors National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature emerita and two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo, was first awarded in 2008. Although originally conceived as a one-time award, it has continued to be awarded through the generosity of Candlewick Press.

With this grant, the Kenosha Public Library will provide more Family Night boxes, with guided activities that encourage parent-child bonding as they explore, experiment, craft, and play. Residents at the emergency shelters in the program will also have access to in-residence library materials without navigating transportation issues or compromising their safety.

Cochairs Maren Ostergard and Stephie Luyt noted, “This project will enhance outreach programming for those experiencing homelessness and is a shining example of the spirit of this award. It is innovative, collaborative, and promotes family connection. It was a joy to select this recipient.”

"We are honored that ALSC’s Programs and Services Recognition Committee selected the Kenosha Public Library as the recipient of the 2023 Light the Way Grant. The generosity of Candlewick Press will allow us to expand existing partnerships with local shelters and increase access to library materials and services for families experiencing homelessness. We hope that this program can someday serve as a model for other public libraries around the country," said Megan Nigh, Teen Services Librarian, and Heather Thompson, Head of Youth and Family Services at Kenosha Public Library.

Sawako Shirota, Manager of Library Marketing at Candlewick Press, said, “We are incredibly honored to be able to support the Kenosha Public Library in this innovative and collaborative initiative through the Light the Way Grant this year. The Family Night box program provides an avenue for families in need to access books and ignite a lifelong passion for reading in their children, and the creation of in-shelter library collections greatly reduces physical and social barriers that families can face in accessing library materials. It is a privilege for us to play a part in these initiatives, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact that they will bring to the community.”

Candlewick Press is a children’s book publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. For more than thirty years, Candlewick has published outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature emerita Kate DiCamillo, current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, Christina Soontornvat, and Carole Boston Weatherford; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ’Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Maisy, and Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia. Visit Candlewick online at

About the Association for Library Service to Children

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:

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit


Ana Cackley

Awards Coordinator