ILLINOIS STATE LIBRARY
Project Next Generation
Purpose and Outcomes
Project Next Generation (PNG) grant projects encourage personal growth and the educational development of at risk students through the use of mentors, technology and library based group projects. The goal of Project Next Generation is to bridge the digital divide by making recent technologies accessible to students who have limited access to computers. In a similar manner, the program strives to provide a safe and friendly environment filled with positive role models. The mentors involved with the program foster the development of their students by helping them gain technical knowledge necessary for future educational and professional success, and to develop self-confidence and pride.
The Illinois State Library funds PNG grants that result in the following outcomes:
- Increase confidence levels as students achieve success through project based learning
- Reinforce abilities and learning as libraries offer technology based experiences for participating students who might not otherwise have access
- Enhance the ability of students to deal with life experiences and the future
- $325,000 General Revenue Fund
Range of Award
- $5,000 - $40,000
- Public libraries recognized by the State Library as being full members in an Illinois regional library system
Targeted Program Participants
- Students, ages 10–18, justified by local community need and identified by the applicant
Program Impact in FY2011
Total Dollars Awarded
Number of Grants Awarded
Number of People Served
- 597 students, 63 mentors
Project Next Generation (PNG) is an important part of our programming at the Carbondale Public Library. PNG is an opportunity for 5th–8th graders to come to the library, have fun and learn something new about technology along the way. Boys and girls experience new technologies and software that they can use while building their future. We often try to incorporate free software, where they can get started at the library, and excel in their homes. At home, they share their learned skills with friends and families. PNG builds confidence and creates a social network where kids of various schools have a chance to come together and create lasting friendships. -- Mentor, Carbondale Public Library
Project Next Generation provides minority and low-income middle school students with opportunities to develop computer skills and self-confidence by using the newest computer technologies, such as digital cameras, scanners, and projects, as well as, many dynamic software packages. Through various projects, such as interviewing each other and creating personal profiles, the students develop a team concept of working together. -- Mentor, Freeport Public Library
Project Next Generation at the Richton Park Library brings weekly programming with a technological theme to students in grades 3–12, with the main focus on students in sixth though ninth grades. The program also gives the children an opportunity to become more familiar with technology, which has become more prevalent in today’s society. If not for Project Next Generation, the children may not otherwise have the chance to use the new Technology (i.e. using an eReader). Not only does this program help the youth in our community adapt to today’s technological society, but also it allows them the opportunity to be a contributor to society and to use technology in a positive, responsible, and productive manner. --- Mentor, Richton Park Public Library
What kids say about PNG
- "I feel more advanced than other kids at school now."
- "My grades in social studies moved from a B to an A."
- "As a tenth-grade student, I have learned to build the type of webpage that they teach you in college."
For more information, please call 217-785-9075 or visit the Project Next Generation website.