As part of its 100th anniversary celebration, First Independent has teamed up with the Firstenburg family to donate $25,000 to the Fort Vancouver Regional Library (FVRL) Foundation.
The gift extends the reach and momentum of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District's 2010 Summer Reading program, which last year engaged 22,000 youth in summer activities.
"As we mark 100 years of serving Southwest Washington communities and look at the next 100 years, we firmly believe that investing in our children is the key to a successful future for us all," said Jeanne Firstenburg, president of First Independent. "Education has always been a priority for our bank and for the Firstenburg family. We're pleased to make a joint investment that supports our regional library system and encourages children and teens to keep reading and learning."
The Summer Reading program provides incentives for children and teens to read during the summer months of June through August, when school is not in session. Children from birth to age 12 earn prizes for every five hours of reading time. Teens age 13 to 19 earn prizes, including book store gift cards, for every 10 hours of reading.
Registration for the Summer Reading program begins June 1 at the 13 Fort Vancouver Regional Library District libraries and three bookmobiles.
To build excitement and participation for the program, the library district hosts early Summer Reading celebrations with popular children's entertainers at branches throughout the region. The Firstenburg/First Independent gift creates the opportunity for many additional celebration activities in mid- and late-summer.
"The Firstenburg family and First Independent have generously pledged financial support, bank employee volunteers and marketing assistance to help us extend Summer Reading program activities later into the summer. We believe this effort will encourage more children and teens to participate in our program and become more familiar with the activities and services available at their local libraries," said Jacquelyn Keith, FVRL's children's services coordinator.