Education and Libraries

GFWC members promote education at all levels. We help others, while continuing to learn ourselves. Projects in the Education and Libraries Community Service Program are designed to foster schools and educational institutions, and to promote literacy, libraries, and the love of a good book. We encourage the growth of individuals and communities at home and around the world.  Education has been a cornerstone of GFWC. Our founder, Jane Cunningham Croly formed the General Federation of Women’s Clubs “to support clubs throughout the nation and further their efforts at providing education, improved working conditions, health care, scholarships, and other reforms.”

We are dedicated to lifelong learning as well as the preservation of books and libraries. Project ideas:

  • Promote STEM projects and activities for special needs students.
  • Encourage members and others to foster and support educational opportunities for all ages in their communities.
  • Promote and support Epsilon Sigma Omicron (ESO), an honorary educational society open to GFWC members, which provides a reading program for self-enrichment and personal growth.
  • Educate members and the community at large on ways to improve low adult and youth literacy rates.
  • Establish a Little Free Library in your community, choosing books that are scare.
  • Donate books of diversity to schools, children’s hospitals, and other sites.
  • Host a book shower for a shelter with adult and children’s books.
  • Support Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY)
  • Work to stop bullying with blue ribbons, blue ‘pinky swear’ and “Stop Bullying” bracelets.
  • Promote literacy and lifelong learning – establish reading groups for children; start a book club.
  • Offer a club education scholarship.

History

1903 – Traveling libraries were started in NC. A total of 92 traveling libraries, later known as bookmobiles, were
donated to the State Library Commission.
1930 – Educational pilgrimage of 186 adult women and men night school students to Washington, DC in support
of adult education. Their initial efforts led to the establishment of the Extension Division of the University of
North Carolina.
1965 – Combined with the Sallie Southall Cotten Loan Fund established in 1913, the new Sallie Southall Cotten
Scholarship became an annual four-year renewable scholarship.
2008 – Contributed over $70,000 to the Blue Ridge Parkway Parks As Classrooms Project.

Resources