The Day – Literacy Fund to Help Willimantic Library Programs


The children of a deceased businesswoman with ties to the area have established a fund in her name to benefit literacy programs at the Willimantic Public Library.

The Mary Lou DeVivo Fund for Windham Literacy, an ongoing endowment held at the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, will fund the library’s Windham Reads programs for children and families.

DeVivo, a summer resident of Old Lyme, former kindergarten and kindergarten teacher and president of the Willimantic Waste Paper Company, died in 2015.

“Mary Lou was best known for her extensive involvement in community organizations,” a statement said. “She started the Windham Reads program and has been a strong advocate for improving Windham’s schools. Believing that Windham’s way out of poverty is through education, the fund reflects Mary’s legacy of hope Lou for his entire community.”

According to Daniel Paquette, Library Manager, “The Mary Lou DeVivo Literacy Fund of Windham will strengthen the library’s role as a community hub that partners with schools and other organizations to inspire the love of reading and helping our young people to flourish.”

Alison Woods, vice president of the community foundation, said in a statement that the fund’s annual distributions will continue “DeVivo’s legacy of compassion and its vision that all children should have the skills and opportunity to succeed.”

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