OSWEGO — Mayor Billy Barlow announced recently the Oswego Bookmobile has secured a $124,611 grant through New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Alliance for Economic Inclusion Anti-Poverty Initiative with assistance from the city of Oswego. The funding is allocated as one of central New York’s 39 selected projects in the second round of the program. The first round of the Alliance for Economic Inclusion was announced in 2018.
The funding for the Oswego Bookmobile will be applied towards a new bus vehicle to administer the “Driving Books Home” program, a mobile, seven-week summer literacy program that drives books, hands-on activities and healthy snacks into neighborhoods where our neediest children live and play. The current vehicle is aging, becoming unreliable and is not ADA accessible.
After attending a book mobile session in the summer of 2019, Mayor Barlow met with book mobile volunteers and officials to discuss possible funding opportunities to help purchase a new vehicle. Mayor Barlow and city officials identified the Alliance for Economic inclusion initiative as a potential funding source and assisted the Oswego Bookmobile with developing and submitting an application.
“The Oswego Bookmobile is a critical program for children in the Oswego community, bringing books, snacks and serving as a fun activity many kids look forward to during the summer months,” said Mayor Barlow. “I’m proud to help secure this funding to put towards the purchase of a new vehicle to ensure the bookmobile and the “Driving Books Home” program continues serving our youth and highlighting the importance of child literacy,” Barlow said.
Bookmobile Board of Directors President and First Ward Oswego Common Councilor Susan McBrearty said, “on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Oswego Bookmobile I am thrilled to learn of the significant award from the Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI) grant funded through New York state. The $124,611 award represents 50% of the cost of a new Bookmobile vehicle. This award represents tangible recognition of the mission and value of the Bookmobile. We are looking forward to retiring the original vehicle after the 2020 season and rolling out a new, Internet-hub equipped, fully accessible delivery system in 2021. We appreciate the guidance and support of Mayor Barlow through the application process.”
Mayor Barlow thanked the book mobile volunteers for working quickly to submit an application and applauded City of Oswego Economic Development Director Justin Rudgick and Deputy Director Tim Stahl, both who participate on the Alliance steering committee, for helping to secure the funding.