Four Great Literacy Grants for Teachers

Illiteracy is a growing problem in today’s society. Public schools are largely blamed for the discrepancy, but this is very misleading. Schools need support to survive. Of course, the most obvious thing troubling our public schools is a lack of caring parents. Teach for a couple of years and you will quickly learn how few parents show concern for bad behavior and poor grades.

And why should they?

After all, politicians have made it far too easy for them to blame teachers for their inadequacies with constant talk of reform and threats to cut funding if students do not reach a specific “pass” score on standardized tests. Unfortunately, the misdirected pressure placed on teachers instead of parents has made it even harder for educators to do their jobs adequately.

Luckily, there are grants in place that a teacher may apply for to bring more books, supplies, and teaching tools into their classrooms – the essentials for getting student literacy to the standard where it needs to be.

Here are four great literacy grants for teachers:

Ronald McDonald House supports programs that help children read, provide nutritious after-school meals, offer life-changing surgeries, or help prevent life-threatening disease. Ronald McDonald House Charities Board of Trustees is most interested in national and/or international organizations that have a specific program related to children’s health and wellbeing.

Maximum award: varies. Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations. Deadline: September 4, 2009.

To Apply

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation offers mini-grants to school and public libraries for programs that encourage literacy and creativity in children. Programs relating to the work of Ezra Jack Keats are welcome, but not required.

Maximum award: $500. Eligibility: public schools and libraries located anywhere in the United States, including Puerto Rico and Guam. Deadline: September 15, 2009.

To Apply

Barnes & Noble K-12 Grants: Through its stores, Barnes & Noble provides funding to local and regional efforts to promote literacy and the arts in K-12 education. Proposals should include a literacy or arts component that fosters both student achievement and community growth. Grant recipients must plan to promote the program with Barnes & Noble and be willing to work with the local store(s) on in-store programming. Potential applicants should visit a store in their area to receive more information. All nonprofits supporting the arts, literacy, or K-12 education are eligible to apply.

Application Deadline: Applications are reviewed on a continuing basis.
To Apply

In2Books, the curriculum-based e-mentoring program from ePals, Inc., will be offered for free to some Title I schools. Students participating in In2Books select and read age-appropriate, high-quality books from a list compiled by a team of children’s literature experts. The students are matched with carefully screened adult pen pals who read the same books as the students. After reading each book, students and their pen pals exchange thoughts about the important issues in the book via online letters. Teachers reinforce these activities in the classroom with related lessons and discussion.

Maximum award: the online program, books and professional development (valued at more than $500). Eligibility: all 3rd-5th grade classrooms in Title I schools from any one district.

To Apply

Check the web or government agencies, such as the department of education for the area where you live for more literacy grants for teachers beyond those mentioned in this article. There is a wealth of grant opportunities available to the diligent teacher. Take advantage before the stated deadlines, and put them to good use!


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