Please note: Only NEA State Affiliates may apply for these grants.
Application Deadline: Friday, October 20, 2023
Applicants will be notified by: Friday, December 15, 2023
NEA state affiliates may apply for a "Read Across America Grant" to enhance state affiliate coordinated Read Across America events and/or activities grounded in celebrating key ingredients in building a nation of diverse readers—books, reading, and the freedom to learn.
Acknowledging that book and curriculum bans are challenges that NEA members across the country face, this grant program encourages proposals that use funds as a way to get diverse books into the hands of students. By diverse books, we mean books that feature diverse characters and recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) diversity of race, culture, language, setting, beliefs, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, income, ability, religion, family structure.
While event(s) or activities may occur or launch on or about "NEA's Read Across America Day" 2024, proposals that increase awareness of Read Across America’s year-round focus on the importance, value, and fun of reading and sharing diverse books, are strongly encouraged.
State affiliates may apply for any amount up to a maximum of $7,500. A total of $50,000 will be awarded.
This grant opportunity is open only to state affiliates. Applications from local affiliates will not be considered. Local affiliates may work with state affiliates to develop a proposal, however, the application must be submitted by the state affiliate.
Examples of appropriate events and/or activities meeting criteria include:
- Plan events with special guest readers, activity centers, opportunities for students to leave the events with a diverse book of their choosing.
- Make your state the place where Read Across America is on everyone’s calendar. Use the 2023-2024 Read Across America Calendar to help implement a Diverse Books Challenge and establish regular guest readers to read aloud and do book related activities with students.
- Partner with Little Free Library and install, fill, and maintain association-branded little free libraries to support and improve student literacy and community exposure to diverse books.
- Provide resources for members and K-12 public school educators to host a diverse book club in their classroom or school challenging members and educators to host at least one book club per county.
- Bring diverse authors and illustrators to schools or to communities for special virtual or in-person visits and provide students with copies of their books.
Read Across America Resources
- Find ideas and other resources to help you brainstorm an appropriate event or activity.
- More ideas from previous state affiliate grant awardees can be found here.
- Find activity ideas related to specific books in the 2023-24 RAA Digital Calendar and for previously recommended titles.
- Submit your application by Friday, October 20, 2023.
- Applicants will be notified by December 15, 2023
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 contacts with publishers for quantities of books or for author visits.
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 a progress report before a 2024 application will be considered.
- Grant recipients are required to adhere by and implement RAA logo standards.
For More Information
Contact [email protected].
Before You Begin Your Application:
- 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), use these links to look it up:
- 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.
- 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:
- You will be required to create a 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.
- 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 provided and your grant application is time sensitive, a link is provided to bypass this requirement.
- 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.
- Finally, once 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.