The Ohio Department of Education awarded $5 million to libraries across the state to expand learning opportunities for students in prekindergarten-grade 12 including almost $300,000 to two Miami County public libraries.

Tipp City Public Library received $88,248 and Troy-Miami County Public Library received $201,166.

Tipp City Public Library will use the money to fund a walk-in tutoring program for students to accelerate learning in conjunction with Tipp City Schools and will expand its collection of literacy tools.

“We identified the need for a tutoring program to help children and families who normally wouldn’t have access to additional educational instruction,” said Lisa Santucci, Tipp City Public Library director. “Tutoring will take place at the library after school on select days and on Saturdays. We will also provide food in order to keep students focused.”

The Tipp library will also provide paperback books for Tipp students in the Tipp Schools summer academy delivered via its mobile bike.

Troy-Miami County Public Library took a multi-faceted approach and will be providing books, programs, school supplies, and a Library of Things for tutors, teachers, and parents to include manipulatives, storytelling kits, science kits, mats, flash cards, and anything that could help adults teach concepts to children who may be struggling. The library will also be hiring teens over the next two years to work in the Maker Lab and at the Pleasant Hill branch.

“We will be hosting a back to school bash downtown with Troy Main Street. We will have Little Free Supply Libraries at all locations with school supplies all year round. We are going to have be able to expand our deposit collections at local non-profit agencies and will be doing book giveaways. In addition, we are purchasing approximately 500 additional Wonderbooks for the Troy and Pleasant Hill libraries. We can’t wait to get started,” said Rachelle Via, director at Troy-Miami County Public Library. Wonderbooks are print books with preloaded audio. Pairing print and audio can be very helpful, especially when learning to read.

“We are proud to partner with the Ohio Department of Education on this program. This funding will help Ohio's public libraries continue and expand the work they are already doing to help students overcome the learning loss," Executive Director of the Ohio Library Council Michelle Francis said. "We are grateful for these resources and know they will have a truly meaningful impact on libraries and their local communities."