[kids-lib] Afterschool grants and awards for libraries

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Mon Nov 14 16:23:08 PST 2016

I just learned about the following grant opportunities and thought some of you may be interested.

·         The Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award<http://afterschoolalliance.org/awards.cfm> is $10,000 for an outstanding program that is focused on helping youth build literacies skills—this is an award for work that has already been done, not a grant to fund an idea for a future project.  Having been a grant proposal reviewer for the past two years for this, I can share two things: 1) hardly any libraries apply and 2) the place where applicants falter is in failing to show impact.  Anecdotal stories about little Maria doing better in school doesn’t cut it.  The reviewers want to see data, like 80% of the youth who participated in the program indicated that their confidence in reading and writing increased after participating in the program.  Another particular issue applicants have is that their literacy activities are not engaging youth in meaningful ways—they focus instead on passive activities, like skill drills, worksheets, learning vocabulary, test taking, etc.  Winning applicants build youth empowerment and ownership into their programs.  They allow for peer-to-peer learning, they let youth choose the reading materials they want to explore, they tie reading & writing together in project-based activities that appeal to the individual interests of youth, etc.  This is where libraries can really shine, as youth participation and interest-driven learning is already a core principle in what they do.  Winning applicants also generally are good at leveraging community experts and partnerships.  Applications are due Dec. 16.

·         The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards<http://www.nahyp.org/> is $10,000 for an outstanding program that promotes the arts and humanities in some way among youth—this is an award for work that has already been done, not a grant to fund an idea for a future project.  I’ve also been a grant reviewer for this award, and applicants have the same problem as with the literacy award—they fail to demonstrate clear and compelling impact, don’t create in ways for youth to build ownership of the program, and don’t engage families or community partners.  Applications are due Feb. 5.

·         YALSA has two mini-grants for summer learning programs.  These are $1,000 each to fund an idea that a library has for a summer learning project.  Applications are due Jan. 1.  One grant is to fund the purchase of resources or services, and the other is a stipend that libraries can use to hire teens to work in the library over the summer.   Winning applicants have clear goals/outcomes identified, focus on interest-based learning, leverage community experts and partners, and demonstrate the best use of funds—for example, they get local businesses to donate food and/or prizes, so that the $1,000 can be used to directly support youth learning or development.  Details about these are here: http://summerreading.ning.com/page/summer-learning-grants


Katie Anderson, MLS, Youth Services Consultant
Library Support and Development Services<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/pages/index.aspx>
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528
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