Coloma Library Gets BCF Grant to Refresh Teen Space

Check presentation infront of book shelves.
T.E.A.M. secretary Josie Balkin presents a For Good Grant check to Coloma Public
Library Assistant Director Alicia Ford, left, and library director Mary Harrison Dec. ​​27.

Coloma Public Library is one of the many recipients of a For Good Grant from the Berrien Community Foundation, which will help refresh and modernize the teen space. BCF has awarded $154,475 in the most recent cycle of For Good Grants.

“We want the teens in Coloma to know this is their library, too, and we want it to be appealing for them,” said library director Mary Harrison.

A variety of new seating options will be ordered soon to replace the current chairs, and new books will be added to the collection. A reconfiguration of shelves will take place, too, to truly make it a designated space for teens.

Coloma Public Library offers several programs and events targeted for youth – game nights, movie nights, crafting nights and after-hours events.


The full list of For Good Grants recipients are:

  • African American History and Literature Gallery — to develop a digital oral history archive and corresponding artworks for a curriculum reflecting the story of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph.
  • Benton Harbor Arts Association — for event coordinator and event costs for art hops in the Benton Harbor Arts District.
  • Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety — to increase the incident command capabilities of the Berrien County Fire Service.
  • Benton Harbor Downtown Development Authority — to purchase and install holiday lights in Dwight P. Mitchell City Center Park.
  • Benton Harbor Girls Association for Learning & Self Esteem — to purchase equipment and furnishings for their new facility.
  • Berrien County Veteran Services — to replace a high-mileage van that transports veterans to medical appointments.
  • Buchanan High School — to overhaul their percussion equipment, carriers and stands for the music department.
  • Coloma PTO — to update playground equipment that will improve children’s motor skills at the elementary school.
  • Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan — to ensure that more girls in Watervliet and Coloma area have access to a Girl Scouts experience.
  • Harbor Habitat for Humanity — to expand eligibility for the Home Ownership Program to provide people with opportunities to become homeowners.
  • Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival — to pay the artist fee for a solo recital and piano tuner.
  • Lest We Forget — to reenact World War II at Tiscornia Beach.
  • Lory's Place — to support one year of community outreach programming.
  • New Heights CCDA — to provide vehicle maintenance and repair services to low-income households to help them gain, maintain or improve their employment prospects by having reliable transportation.
  • Present Pillars — for content creation for podcasts and videos to improve family stability by mentoring and uplifting fathers.
  • Renaissance Enterprises Company — to help bring music programs to nursing homes, care facilities and senior residences.
  • Saint Joseph Baseball & Softball Association — to support an indoor sports facility for young players in a variety of sports for practice and training throughout the year.
  • The Salvation Army – Niles — to support their Feeding His Sheep program, which provides nutritious food for the weekend for students in southern Berrien County.
  • Stevensville United Methodist Church — to help with their food backpack program that provides meals and snacks for the weekend to Riverside Hagar #6 School.


For Good Grants awarded by T.E.A.M.

  • Beyond Basics — to provide support and literacy intervention to Benton Harbor Area School students.
  • Coloma Public Library — to create a separate teen room with teen-friendly furniture and updated book collections.
  • WeECHO — to purchase equipment and supplies for their after-school mentoring programming, WEYS 2 Grow, in the Niles community.


There are two grant cycles of the For Good Grants every year. Applications for the next round are due April 1, 2024. For questions or more information, contact BCF Program Director Susan Matheny at