Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut and Willimantic Public Library Announce Creation of the Mary Lou Devivo Fund for Windham Literacy

The Willimantic Public Library and the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut are pleased to announce the creation of the Mary Lou DeVivo Fund for Windham Literacy, a permanent endowment held at the Community Foundation. 

Annual distributions from the fund will go to Willimantic Public Library’s Windham Reads initiatives aimed at getting children and their families to experience the joy and power of reading. Library Director Daniel Paquette said, “The Mary Lou DeVivo Fund for Windham Literacy will enhance the library’s role as a community hub that partners with schools and other organizations to inspire a love of reading and help our young people thrive.”

Established by her children, the new fund honors the life of Mary Lou DeVivo, a former preschool and kindergarten teacher and president of the Willimantic Waste Paper Company, who passed away in 2015. Mary Lou was most known for her vast involvement in community-based organizations. She started the Windham Reads program and was a strong advocate for enhancing Windham Schools. Believing that Windham's pathway out of poverty is education, the fund reflects Mary Lou’s legacy of hope for her entire community.

Alison Woods, vice president at the Community Foundation, said, “It is our honor to be part of this meaningful tribute to Mary Lou and to help her family carry forth her legacy of compassion and her vision that all children should have the skills and opportunity to succeed.”