Waterbury Center, VT — Strong literacy skills are critical to children’s development and impact students’ success beyond their early years. According to the Annie. E. Casey Foundation’s 2013 report on childhood literacy in the U.S., “Children who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers.”
That report also found that “82 percent of fourth-graders from low-income families and 84 percent of students from low-income families who attend high-poverty schools failed to reach the “proficient” level in reading in 2011.” Inequitable access to quality early literacy instruction and resources are why the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) offers the CLiF Year of the Book grant to qualifying New Hampshire and Vermont elementary schools whose students face literacy challenges. Schools with at least 25% of students scoring below proficient on reading and writing assessments and with at least 30% of students qualifying for free/reduced lunch are encouraged to apply today for the Year of the Book grant.
The grant provides $25,000 in literacy programming throughout the school year to selected schools to encourage a community celebration of literacy and provide resources to promote reading and writing. The CLiF Year of the Book includes a kick-off storytelling celebration and book giveaway in the fall, regular author/illustrator visits from CLiF’s 55 presenters, family literacy celebrations, $1,000 value of new children’s books for the school and public library (respectively), up to $2,000 in mini-grants to support classroom literacy projects, up to $3,500 in new books for classrooms, and up to ten new high-quality books for each child to keep.
The South Royalton School 2015-2016 Year of the Book Coordinator said, “Through the Year of the Book, we were able to support students to take their emerging love of reading home with them. This was not only through the book giveaways but also through the author/illustrator visits which inspired our school community to be more voracious readers, writers, illustrators, inventors, and storytellers. The books and visits we received will be something we all will remember throughout our lives.”
The Children’s Literacy Foundation is now accepting applications from Vermont and New Hampshire elementary schools for Year of the Book grants for the 2017-2018 school year.
CLiF Program Director Meredith Scott says, “For the first time this grant cycle, CLiF offered an additional grant for the year after the CLiF Year of the Book. Because of this, we seek partners eager to embrace literacy as a priority and focal point for planning activities and other initiatives. We want this two-year process to affect change not only in the school but also in the community. CLiF Year of the Book brings together early education, libraries, families, community members, staff, and kids while improving commitment to building literacy.”
Year of the Book applications will be accepted until February 8, 2017. Applications can be found at www.clifonline.org. Please contact Meredith Scott at (802) 244-0944 or Meredith@clifonline.org with any questions about this grant.
Five Vermont elementary schools and four New Hampshire schools are celebrating the CLiF Year of the Book in the 2016-2017 school year. Check the calendar at www.clifonline.org for upcoming Year of the Book events and more information.
About the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF)
CLiF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to nurture a love of reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural children up to age 12 throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Since 1998, CLiF has supported and inspired nearly 200,000 young readers and writers through five literacy program grants and has given away almost $5 million in new, high-quality children’s books. For more information about CLiF, visit www.clifonline.org.