Success Story
Release No.STELPRD4015911
, Jan 09, 2012 --

Outline of Need:

The Library will improve the quality of life by pro-viding workforce development and educational re-sources in a rural area. St. Helena Island is considered primarily minority community characterized by high unemployment and extremely low per capita income.

How Rural Development Helped:

Rural Development provided $6 million loan and $2.5 million grant assistance to Beaufort County.

The Results:

The St. Helena Branch Library project will provide educational, informational and economic opportunities for the St. Helena Community and will address literacy and learning needs of a severely under-served and under-employed population. The project will initiate programs to develop literacy and lifelong learning. It will increase professional, personal, academic, and workforce success. It will also support the preservation and dissemination of the Sea Island Culture.

The library will provide access to state of the art technology and self improvement resources. The library will be located adjacent to the historic Penn Center campus where, in 1862, an African-American school and cultural facility was established to educate freed slaves.

The St. Helena Branch Library will partner with the historic Penn Center which will increase visitors to this historic site and create awareness of their historic mission and accomplishments.

This project will help the community grow in the short term by saving or creating 75 construction jobs and 25 to 30 library staff jobs. In the long term, the library will provide St. Helena with free success-building resources for all ages. It will function as a center for education, learning, connecting the com-munity to its past, as well as to the internet, ideas and job training. It will help bring economic activity and opportunities to this small community

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