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NEA’s Read Across America 2021 State Affiliate Event Grant Criteria

NEA State Affiliates may apply for a Read Across America Event Grant to enhance state affiliate-coordinated Read Across America events and/or activities based on the theme of “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.”
Published: 10/08/2020

Update: The application deadline for events in 2021 has passed. Please check back in summer for 2022 information.

Please note: Only NEA State Affiliates may apply for these grants.

Application Deadline: Friday, November 13, 2020

Applicants will be notified by: Friday, December 18, 2020


NEA State Affiliates may apply for a "Read Across America Event Grant" to enhance state affiliate-coordinated Read Across America events and/or activities based on the theme of “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.”  Emphasis should be placed on diverse books from diverse authors that will appeal to an increasingly diverse student population. Affiliates may apply for any amount up to a maximum of $15,000. A total of $100,000 will be awarded. Ideally, event(s) or activities should occur on or about "NEA's Read Across America Day," which is Monday, March 2, 2021.

Examples of appropriate events and/or activities* highlighting diversity include:

  • A statewide reading tour that makes school visits to conduct reading events that focus on diverse books to be coordinated with the local Association.
  • Using the RAA Resource Calendar as a guide, events/activities that emphasis diverse books and authors for diverse audiences. Additional content related to the calendar and poster can be found at
  • Consider a state-wide theme of “Read Across [insert state name] by focusing on books and authors that make your state unique.
  • Hosting a larger reading event(s) with members and students held at public venues such as children's museums, sports or entertainment facilities, libraries, or other public venue that will accommodate several classes of students (possibly from multiple schools);
  • Organizing other Association-recommended event or activity.

Read Across America Resources

Find ideas, an online toolkit, and other resources to help you brainstorm an appropriate event or activity at

Application Deadline

Please submit your application by Friday, November 13, 2020.

What NEA Will Provide

  • NEA staff will be available for consultation with the grant application process via phone calls and e-mail. NEA will not provide staff "on the ground" to coordinate the event or activity.
  • Recommendations for potential partners like First Book for reduced cost books ( and Reading is Fundamental ( for activities and curriculum for each book featured in the resource calendar.

Affiliate’s Role and Responsibilities

  • Implementation of the proposed program, event, or activity outlined in the State Affiliate Event Grant application. RAA event grant should supplement funding, resources, and staffing from the State and/or Local Affiliates involved. Events should target schools with student populations in greatest need.
  • Promotion of “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers” and NEA's Read Across America program on State and Local Affiliates’ online and social media, publications, news releases, and other member and external communication vehicles.  NEA and  RAA logos should appear alongside/near the state and/or local affiliate’s branding.*
  • While the focus will be on member-driven, student-focused reading-related events, the State Affiliate should also pursue earned media opportunities at the local and state level, utilize member communications vehicles, and online/social media to promote NEA's Read Across America to both members and the public.
  • Use your RAA event to help recruit and organize members by providing information  in "meet and greet" type breakfast or lunch open houses and/or lit tables.
  • Purchase books and other giveaways, such as "goody bags" and other appropriate items.
  • Recipients of previous RAA grants MUST submit progress report before a 2021 application will be considered.

*Grant recipients are required to adhere by and implement RAA logo standards

Application Process

1. Have an electronic copy of your Affiliate’s completed IRS W-9 Form available on your computer (you will be required to upload it in the next step). Download blank IRS W-9 Form. If you do not know your affiliate’s Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN), you can use the following links to look it up:

  1. State Affiliates EIN Quick Lookup
  2. Local Affiliates EIN Lookup via IRS Database

2. To submit your Affiliate's completed W-9, please click here. Within the capture form, please make sure to select the appropriate Center/Department to whom your affiliate is submitting a grant request.

3. Download a copy of the blank "Read Across America Event Grant" application, to familiarize yourself with it and gather all required information.

How to Apply:

1. You will be required to create an NEA Applicant ID and Password if you are applying for the first time.  To create a new NEA Applicant ID and Password, click the New Applicant? link under the E-mail input box on the first page of the application and follow instructions.

2. Next you will be prompted for your Affiliate's EIN.  You should already have this number from Step 1 of Before you Begin.  If you cannot locate your EIN using the search resources provides and your grant application is time sensitive, a link is provided to bypass this requirement.

3. Once in the application, provide all required information. The Save and Finish Later button will save your in-progress application to your NEA Applicant Account to complete later.

4. Finally, once you feel your application is complete, click the Review and Submit button. Missing information will be flagged, and you will have to provide it before you can submit your application.

Click here to start a new “NEA’s Read Across America” 2021 State Affiliate Event Grant application

Click here to return to a saved “NEA’s Read Across America” 2021 State Affiliate Event Grant application

For More Information
Contact Joyce René Carter,, or Heather Griffin,

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