BRIDGEWATER — The Burnham Library, 62 Main St. South, has announced a new endowment, the Susan Beris, M.D. Youth Learning Center Fund.

This fund, provided by Dr. Susan Beris, M.D., has been formed specifically to support the ongoing needs of the Youth Learning Center at the Burnham Library.

Betsy Perlman, president of the library board, said “There are times when a gesture is so surprising that it can take your breath away. 

“We at the Burnham Library have not only experienced one of those times, but we have just had another one, and it was brought about by the same person, Dr. Susan Beris.”

In 2019 Dr. Beris provided the funding to establish the Susan Beris, M.D. Youth Learning Center. 

Located in the Burnham Library, it also is used by schools and children from the adjoining towns of Brookfield, Newtown and New Milford.

In providing this donation, Dr. Beris said, “Libraries are the cornerstone of a community; no other facility can be utilized from the day we are born until the day we die. They provide books, programs of interest, formal and informal education, and a place to share knowledge and ideas.

“For our youngest community members, the library and the books provided enhance language skills, provide cognitive growth, and blossom an imagination. 

“The craft programs that the library offers allows children to express their creativity while also improving their fine motor skills. Sitting in a group during story time teaches social skills, compassion, and sharing.

“All of these skills are the foundation of becoming a successful adult. It has given me great pleasure to be a large part of the creation of the youth learning center at the Burnham Library. Adding an endowment will ensure that the future needs of the center will be met. 

“My hope is that it provides the community an immense amount of pleasure and education in the years to come.”

Bridgewater First Selectman Curtis Read said, “Providing the means to both educate young people and expose them to cultural resources in an inviting environment is what Dr. Beris has enabled with her extraordinary gifts to the Burnham Library.”

Those seeking additional information may visit burnhamlibrary.org.

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