Library Foundation surpasses $500,000 Children’s Literacy Endowment goal

One program underway ensures young eligible children receive a free book each month

Library Foundation members celebrate making their goal. Contributed photo

On Jan. 5, the Library Foundation for Sarasota County celebrated surpassing its $500,000 goal to create a new Children’s Literacy Endowment, the nonprofit has announced.

“The Children’s Literacy Endowment will fund early literacy programs for children in need in Sarasota County forever,” a news release says.

The endowment will assist the 700 youngsters enrolled in the Imagination Library program, which ensures that a new book is mailed each month to the homes of eligible children, from their birth to the age of 5, the release adds. The financial support also will allow 300 additional youngsters to join the program this year, the release adds.

“Along with the free monthly book, parents receive suggestions on how to read to young children and an invitation to visit the public library,” the release explains.

The Children’s Literacy Endowment also will provide funding for new literacy programs, the release notes.

Library Foundation board members Pat and Bob Gussin kicked off the campaign in December 2015 with a leadership gift of $100,000, the release says, while Rick and Nancy Moskovitz later provided a second leadership gift. The Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation extended a capping grant opportunity of $50,000 if the Library Foundation raised $450,000 by Dec. 31, 2016, the release points out. A gift on New Year’s Eve put the campaign over goal, the release says.

Altogether, 198 donors supported the Children’s Literacy Endowment Campaign “to give the joy and power of reading to Sarasota County’s youngest readers, the release continues. The Library Foundation Board of Directors led the way, contributing 32% of the total dollars raised, the release notes. Additional leadership donors were Betty Jean and David Bavar, the Catlin Fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the 2016 Giving Challenge, the Baltimore Orioles, the Bladel Foundation, the Getzen Family Charities, the Huisking Family Foundation, and Tom and Suki Swepston.

For more information on the Children’s Literacy Endowment, visit