Memphis Library Foundation Receives $85,000 Grant to Drive Youth Literacy

International Paper awarded grant to expand Memphis Public Libraries literacy programs
Feb 8, 2021 11:30 AM ET

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 8, 2021 /3BL Media/ – Memphis Library Foundation today announced it received a grant of $85,000 from the International Paper Foundation to support various Memphis Public Libraries programs that promote youth literacy.

“This generous grant provides children the opportunity to expand their reading skills outside the classroom through unique activities that are engaging, enriching and fun,” said Christine Weinreich, executive director of the Memphis Library Foundation. “The Memphis Public Libraries programs supported by the grant will enhance literacy skills for children ranging from early childhood to adolescence. We’re grateful to International Paper for their continued support to empower educational achievement and foster a passion for reading and learning among Memphis youth.” 

The grant will provide financial assistance for MPL’s range of literacy programs and learning resources, particularly in branches located within underserved communities. They’re designed to help students achieve literacy proficiency benchmarks respective to their grade level and beyond. The programs benefiting from the grant include:

  • DiscoverREAD centers, which equip parents and guardians with tools to enhance early childhood literacy skills for ages 0 to 5 and sets students up for early success during elementary school. Through the grant, MPL will open centers in the East Shelby branch located at 7200 E. Shelby Drive and the Cordova branch at 8457 Trinity Road. Currently, 12 branches have DiscoverREAD centers.

  • Explore Memphis, which helps students remain on track with their reading skills during the summer months and, most recently, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will provide free books at several branches and build incentive programs to encourage students to remain engaged in reading outside the classroom. 

Memphis Library Foundation receives $85,000 grant to drive youth literacy

  • Teen Innovation Centers, which offer teens a space to engage in literacy and technology activities. The grant will support the opening of a center in the East Shelby library branch, making it the third branch in the MPL system with a Teen Innovation Center. 

  • Family Tunes and Tales, a program that celebrates storytelling through music and reading. With support from the grant, Family Tunes and Tales will be expanded and enhanced, despite being fully virtual in 2021, by offering families free books and take-home activity kits related to each Tunes and Tales episode.

International Paper is a longtime supporter of Memphis Public Libraries and has awarded grants for various individual literacy programs. This grant is the largest yet from International Paper.

“Memphis Public Libraries is a critical resource in our community, not only in furthering literacy among children but also empowering our next generation of leaders right here in our hometown of Memphis,” said Dynisha Woods, global citizenship coordinator for International Paper. “We’re proud to continue supporting the system’s programs, and we’re excited to see what new thoughtful and creative activities the Library will bring to Memphis families this year.”

About Memphis Library Foundation:

The Memphis Library Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 1994, chartered as the Foundation for the Library. Its mission is to enhance the 18 Memphis Public Libraries by securing funding through grants and private support. For more information about Memphis Library Foundation, please visit

About International Paper:

International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, North Africa and Russia. We produce corrugated packaging products that protect and promote goods, and enable world-wide commerce; pulp for diapers, tissue and other personal hygiene products that promote health and wellness; and papers that facilitate education and communication. We are headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., employ approximately 48,000 colleagues and serve more than 25,000 customers in 150 countries. Net sales for 2020 were $21 billion. For more information about International Paper, our products and global citizenship efforts, please visit

For more information, contact:

Christina Babu

Obsidian Public Relations

Phone: 901-289-7633