Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016
CONTACT: Roy L. Williams
Director of Public Relations
Birmingham Public Library
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067
BPL Teens Engineer Program to receive $50,000 grant from UAB during basketball game this Thursday

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama— The BPL Teens Engineer Birmingham, a program of the Birmingham Public Library (BPL), will receive a $50,000 grant from the UAB Benevolent Fund Grant Program during the UAB Blazers Men’s Basketball game this Thursday, Feb. 25.  The check will be presented on the court to BPL staff during a commercial break. The game tips off at 7 p.m. at Bartow Arena on the UAB Campus.

Lance Simpson, system teen librarian for the Birmingham Public Library, said the grant will help expand the BPL’s teen engineering afterschool program, enabling it to serve more young people in Birmingham. Simpson and Carrie Campbell, grants and special projects librarian, submitted the grant application on behalf of BPL.  He said the BPL Teens Engineer Birmingham program is grateful for the UAB Benevolent Fund and UAB employees for supporting their efforts to serve the teens of Birmingham.
“Our teens are very excited, and so are the UAB students with whom we've been working,” Simpson said. “This program will encourage students push themselves academically, and set them up for great success in future STEM careers.”

The UAB School of Engineering has been partnering with BPL’s Central Library in 2015, coordinating the afterschool engineering program offered for school children in Birmingham, including Phillips Academy downtown. Simpson said UAB’s School of Engineering is providing student mentors to work with the teens participating in the BPL engineering program.  

Simpson submitted a video to UAB on Dec. 4 as voting by UAB employees started, sharing the vision and mission of the BPL Teens Engineer Birmingham program. See link to the video here and background on the UAB Benevolent Fund Program:  Video link:

The $50,000 from the UAB Benevolent Fund will be used to provide after-school robotics programs to students at the BPL’s Central, Southside, and Woodlawn libraries during the 2016-17 school.

 Lisa Higginbotham, UAB Benevolent Fund program manager, said in a statement last December UAB is honored to support the BPL Teens Engineer program.  
“We appreciate the work BPL does in our community and we look forward to a strong continued working relationship with BPL. Happy Holidays and congratulations,” Higginbotham said in an email to Simpson, the BPL teen librarian.

About 1,500 UAB employees cast their vote for the recipient agency after viewing video presentations from three finalists. The first UAB Community Impact Grant was awarded to Magic City Harvest in December 2014.

“The Community Impact Grant is a unique and engaging opportunity for UAB employees to make their voices heard and make a deep, lasting impact in our community,” Higginbotham said. “For local nonprofits, the significant funding with this grant will allow them to dream big in regard to new programming and efforts to address the challenging community issues of childhood educational success, healthy and active lifestyles, and family economic security.”

For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 19 locations and serving the community for 129 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.
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