State Department of Education funding will support workforce readiness and English language-learning programs


ST. CLOUD, Minn. (February 19, 2019) — Great River Regional Library (GRRL) is pleased to announce it has received an $89,654, one-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). 

The highly competitive grant will fund the year-long project, “Breaking Down Barriers to Family Literacy.” 

Participants in the project will sharpen English-speaking skills, increase their workforce readiness, and cultivate networking opportunities.

Key components of this project include:

  • Digital literacy instruction and workforce readiness assistance through access to the Minnesota Career Information System Portal and the Northstar Digital Literacy                  Assessment, two highly sophisticated educational systems
  • Conversation circles – opportunities for non-native speakers to practice English in informal, stress-free settings
  • Staff certification to train daycare providers in early literacy instruction
  • Cultural fluency training for all GRRL staff

The grant has also allowed the St. Cloud Public Library to hire two part-time Bilingual Cultural Navigators to assist Somali-speaking patrons as they learn to use library resources.

"We're excited and grateful," says Patron Services Supervisor Ryan McCormick. "This grant will enable us to provide new services and resources to help people in our communities with their career, education and literacy goals."

“Breaking Down Barriers to Family Literacy” is a partnership between GRRL, Adult Basic Education (ABE), Career Solutions and Partners for Student Success.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provides Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds to Minnesota through the Grants to States Program administered through the state Department of Education.

To see other grant-funded projects from around the state, visit

For additional information about library programs, visit

This project is funded in part with a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education using federal funding,

CFDA 45.310 – Library Services and Technology Act, Grants to States Program (LS-00-18-0024-18).