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Elementary School Library Access Mini-Grants

Grants to Idaho Elementary Schools to
Purchase Books and Promote Literacy Skills

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL)

Deadline Date:

02/23/18 Postmarked

Description:

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Grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to Idaho elementary schools to increase student access to books and promote the development of literacy skills. Funding is available to purchase books for school libraries. As a requirement of this grant, participating schools must increase access to reading materials.

Round 1 Grants are available to schools that have not previously received a grant to purchase additional books for their school library during the school year, and change the check out policy for the lowest grades.

Round 2 Grants are available to previous recipients to increase students' access to books during the school year for the school library. This opportunity is for schools that have received a School Access Grant three or more years ago.

Elementary school libraries play a vital role in ensuring Idaho children develop strong literacy skills, starting in the earliest grades. Unfortunately, many Idaho elementary schools haven’t had the resources to allow children in developmental preschool programs, kindergarten, and even first grade to check out books to take home. The Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) is offering mini-grants to schools to help increase access to books.

Background Information:

The 2012 Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Plan states: “School libraries should have a minimum of 20 books per child to enable children to take multiple books home at each visit. This figure also takes into consideration the needs of teachers to have access to quality trade books to support the Common Core. In addition, it is recommended that...two new books per child should be added to the school library collection each year to allow for the addition of important new titles. Books and other literary materials must be updated annually…. Research suggests that at least five to eight books per child are necessary to support choice and motivation to read.”

Data from the Commission’s September 2012 Public Elementary School Library Study by Boise State University literacy professor Dr. Roger Stewart shows that most school districts spend very little if anything on reading materials for their elementary school libraries. The 2013 average price for a new hardback children’s book is $19.03 (School Library Journal, 6/2013). Dr. Stewart’s study found that 62 percent of Idaho elementary school libraries reported annual book budgets from their districts of under $1,000 – which would purchase a maximum of 52 books. Twenty-eight percent had budgets of under $100 – which would purchase a maximum of five books. These numbers fall extremely short of the Literacy Plan’s recommendations.

Most Idaho elementary school libraries have insufficient budgets to provide quality, age-appropriate books for their students to either read at school or take home. With 50 percent of Idaho school children qualifying for free or reduced lunch, many of them are not likely to have age-appropriate reading material at home. The result is that many Idaho children do not have access to enough reading materials to become proficient readers, the basis required for all other learning.

The following grants are available.

Round 1:

State funding has been allocated through the legislative process to the Idaho Commission for Libraries’ (ICfL) Read to Me program to help increase access to print for Idaho’s youngest students. The amount of reading done in homes is the single most important factor in developing children’s literacy skills. Research shows that if children are not reading on grade level by the end of first grade, there’s only a one in eight chance they will ever catch up without costly direct intervention. Providing access to hundreds of age-appropriate quality books through school library lending programs is one of the most cost-effective strategies used to increase literacy skills. Funds from this program can be used to purchase books to help ensure that access to materials starts from the beginning of a child’s schooling.

This grant program has three primary goals:
1. Increase the amount of reading done in the homes of children in developmental preschool programs, kindergarten and first grade.
2. Increase access to age-appropriate, quality, nonfiction and fiction titles in elementary school libraries.
3. Increase the number of children reading on grade level.

Grant Requirements:

If your school is awarded grant funds, the following requirements will need to be met by your school during the grant period:
-All kindergarten and 1st grade students will be allowed to check out and take home more than one book per week starting in their first semester of school.
-If your school has a developmental preschool program on school grounds, all children enrolled in that program will be allowed to check out and take home more than one book a week starting in their first semester of school.
-Students in all grades will be allowed to check out nonfiction books.
-All grant funds will be spent on age-appropriate books for pre-K, Kindergarten or 1st grade students. Funds can be spent on fiction or nonfiction books, but at least 40% of the funds must be spent on nonfiction books. Age-appropriate titles for these grade levels need to take into account the interest level for young children and include primarily good quality, read-aloud titles for family members to read to students in these grades, not necessarily reading levels of K-1 students. Book purchases may include up to interest level for grade 2.
-Accelerated Reader tests, library software, library shelving signage, and ebooks are not allowable purchases with these funds.
-Up to 5% of the grant award can be spent on book processing supplies (i.e. labels, barcodes, processing fees with vendors).
-School library representatives are required to attend a day-long training in August 2018 in their region. If participants cannot attend a training session, a make-up webinar will be held at a later date and viewing will be required. Dates, locations, and other details for the training are to be determined.

Round 2:

State funding has been allocated through the legislative process through the Idaho Commission for Libraries’ (ICfL) Read to Me program to help increase access to print for Idaho’s elementary students. The amount of reading done outside school hours is the single most important factor in developing children’s literacy skills. Research shows that if children are not reading on grade level by the end of first grade, there’s only a one in eight chance they will ever catch up without costly direct intervention. Additional research shows that in any grade, the better the school’s library, the better the students’ reading ability. Providing access to age-appropriate quality books through school library lending programs is one of the most cost-effective strategies used to increase literacy skills. Funds from this program can be used to purchase books, organize a parent event, or other engagement/outreach activities that will help ensure students have access to appropriate reading materials from preschool throughout elementary school.

This grant program has four primary goals:
1. Increase the amount of reading done in the homes of children in developmental preschool programs, kindergarten, and throughout elementary school.
2. Increase access to age-appropriate, quality nonfiction and fiction titles in elementary school libraries.
3. Increase the number of students reading on grade level.
4. Increase school libraries’ financial support from their school districts.

Grant Requirements

If your school is awarded grant funds, the following requirements will need to be met by your school during the grant period:
-All students in all grade levels will be allowed to check out and take home more than one book per week starting in their first semester of school, including preschool students, if applicable.
-Students in all grades will be allowed to check out nonfiction books.
-Grant funds will be spent on age-appropriate fiction and nonfiction books for pre-K through fifth or sixth grade students (the highest grade in the school). When selecting age-appropriate titles for all grade levels, librarians should consider the interest level for students and include high-quality titles for family members to read aloud to students and for students to read independently. The reading level (ATOS, AR, Lexile, etc.) should be secondary, if considered at all.
-Accelerated Reader tests, library software, library shelving, signage and ebooks are not allowable purchases with these funds.
-The school must hold a family literacy or other outreach event during the grant period. Some possibilities include Idaho Family Reading Week, a celebration of Read Across America, and El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros.
-Up to a total of 20% of the grant funds can be used for allowable purposes other than the purchase of books for the collection. The funds used for book processing will be considered part of this 20%.

Some allowable uses might include:
-The required family reading or other outreach event to be held during the grant period. Partnering with the public library to encourage students and their families to hold library cards, giving them access to public library services, is strongly encouraged. There are many ways to practice family outreach. Be sure to include your plan to address this requirement in your Needs Statement.
-Up to 5% of the grant award may be used for book processing and related supplies.
-Give-away books for students to encourage summer and/or out of school reading.
-Food is not an eligible use for grant funds.

There will be a day-long training in August 2018 for all Elementary School Library Access to Books Mini-Grant recipients:
-Representatives who were not involved in the administration of the Elementary School Library Access Mini-Grant that qualified your school for the ELA Round 2 Mini-Grant are required to attend the full-day training. Details to come.
-Representatives who were involved in the administration of the Elementary School Library Access to Books Mini-Grant that qualified your school for the ELA Round 2 Mini-Grant are required to attend the Round 2 Business Meeting. They are welcome and encouraged to attend the day-long training.
-If participants cannot attend a training session, a make-up webinar will be held at a later date and viewing will be required.
-Grantee will complete at least one additional training experience during the grant period covering a reading- or library science-related topic. This requirement can be met through attending a webinar, completing an online training module or attending an in-person training event such as the Idaho Library Association annual conference. ICfL’s Summer Summit held in July 2018 is also acceptable.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177631

Estimated Size of Grant:

$1,000 - $5,000

Term of Contract:

The grant period for both Round 1 and Round 2 is August 1, 2018 - April 15, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Round 1:

Applying schools must meet the following eligibility requirements:
-The day-to-day oversight and operations of the school library is carried out by a paid, contracted staff person.
-The school has not received these grant funds in the past.
-The school administration agrees to all the grant requirements (listed below).

After grant eligibility has been met, applications will be ranked by the applicants’ responses to the weighted grant application questions and include: the number of students eligible for free and reduced lunch, the strength of the needs statement, the ability to implement the grant (looking at hours per week for paid library staff) and if the school is serving or will serve children enrolled in a district special education developmental preschool program on school grounds. The ranking committee will also take into consideration the geographical distribution across the state. More than one elementary school from a school district may apply and receive a grant award per grant year.

Round 2:

Applying schools must meet the following eligibility requirements:
-School must have received an Elementary School Library Access Mini-Grant and have adopted the circulation policies required for that grant.
-A school is ineligible if it received a School Library Access Mini-Grant or Summer Access Grant from the Idaho Commission for Libraries less than three years ago (2015-2016 school year and later).
-The day-to-day oversight and operations of the school library is carried out by a paid, contracted staff person, usually the school librarian.
-The school administration agrees to all the grant requirements (listed below).

After grant eligibility has been met, applications will be ranked by the applicants’ responses to the weighted grant application questions which include: the number of students eligible for free and reduced lunch, the number of English language learners enrolled and the plan to serve EL students, the strength of the needs statement, and the ability to implement the grant (looking at hours per week paid library staff works in the library). The ranking committee will also take into consideration the geographical distribution across the state, however, more than one elementary school from a school district may apply and receive a grant award per grant year.

Pre-Application Information:

Round 2 Grants: School’s district administration must agree to match 25% of funds awarded, and the match must be in the form of a book budget for the school library.

Applications for each of the two grant programs are due by February 23, 2018.

Grant Timeline:

-Applications must be postmarked on or before February 23, 2018 to be considered.

-Applicants will be notified about their status via email by the end of March 2018.

-Mini-grant recipients attend regional training sessions in August 2018. Dates and locations to be determined.

-Round 2 Mini-Grant recipients attend regional training sessions in August 2018. Dates and locations to be determined.

-Grant funds will be distributed to the school district in September 2018.

-September 2018 – April 2019 – School Library Access Mini-Grant – Round 1 is implemented

-September– Elementary School Library Access Mini-Grant - Round 2 is implemented (i.e. funds are dispursed, books are purchased, planning for events begins, etc.)

-January 18, 2019 – Interim grant report is due.

-March 1, 2019 – Last of grant funds are obligated to ensure all invoices are paid before March 29, 2019.

-April 18, 2019 – Final grant report is due.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Jeannie Standal, School Library Consultant
(208) 334-2150
jeannie.standal@libraries.idaho.gov

Jamie Mott, Grants/Contracts Officer
(208) 334-2150
jamie.mott@libraries.idaho.gov

Idaho Commission for Libraries
Attn: Jeannie Standal
325 W. State St. 
Boise ID 83702

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Idaho