MARTIN, TENN. – A $15,000 grant from Simmons First Foundation to the Martin Public Library will outfit the new Children’s Section and Teen Zone. Simmons First Foundation is a nonprofit established by Simmons Bank to provide grants to other 501c3 organizations serving youth programs in education and healthcare.
The donation comes as the library plans to move from its current location in the downtown post office building to a new 35,000-square-foot facility to be constructed in the heart of Martin’s historic business district.
Simmons’ funding will furnish the children’s railroad-themed area of the new library with colorful furniture. Child-sized boxcars containing computers will be installed to encourage creative play, while hands-on resources like 3D printers and recording equipment will instill technological fluency.
The grant will also allow for expanded library learning programs for children and teens. Basic robotics and computer programming will be taught to aspiring young engineers, while teens will discover cutting-edge technologies such as virtual reality.
“This gift greatly enhances learning opportunities for all our citizens, and we sincerely appreciate Simmons Bank for their leadership and continuing effort to make Martin and Weakley County a better place,” said Nick Dunagan, president of the Martin Public Library Foundation.
“Simmons is proud to contribute to a library that will enhance the lives of our customers, associates and wider community,” said Sam Lewallen, Simmons Bank market president for northwest Tennessee. “We are especially eager to see the educational impact this will hold for children as they’re inspired to learn in an exciting, state-of-the-art environment.”
There are more than 12,000 preschool-to-eighth-grade children within a 20-mile radius of Martin. A goal of the Martin Public Library’s upcoming move is to expand the reach of its programs and resources to this wider community of kids.
Founded in 1925, the library was originally housed in a room at Martin Elementary School before moving to its current location in the mid-1960s. The Children’s Section is in the basement of the 1917 post office building, where limited space and a propensity to flooding amplify the need for a new facility.
While planning is ongoing, the library could possibly move to its new location in the latter part of 2020. A conference room in the new facility will be named for Simmons in honor of the grant.
About Simmons First Foundation
Simmons First Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation under the laws of Arkansas and is recognized as a 501c3 organization by the Internal Revenue Service. Simmons First Foundation was founded in 2013 with an initial donation from Simmons Bank, headquartered in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Simmons First Foundation makes grants to other 501c3 organizations within the market area served by Simmons First National Corporation.
About Simmons Bank
Simmons Bank is an Arkansas state-chartered bank that began as a community bank in 1903. Through the decades, Simmons has developed a full suite of financial products and services designed to meet the needs of individual consumers and business customers alike. Simmons has grown steadily to approximately $16.2 billion in assets (as of June 30, 2018) and today operates approximately 200 branch locations throughout Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Simmons is the subsidiary bank for Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ: SFNC), a publicly traded bank holding company headquartered in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. For more information, visit http://www.simmonsbank.com/.
About Martin Public Library
Founded in 1925 as the Woman’s Club Library, Martin Public Library has expanded over the years to serve as a center of learning and education in its community of Martin, Tennessee. The library, which was initially housed in an elementary school, places a special emphasis on children’s education and programming.
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