CLiF recently completed a professionally-produced 18-minute video designed to train staff members at home and center-based childcare facilities and Head Start programs about: 1) why it is critical to share books and stories with children as early and often as possible; and 2) ways to share books and stories successfully with children from birth to age 5. After watching the video, providers can choose to fill out an online response. CLiF will send documentation of your learning time for use as needed for credentials or professional development. CLiF hopes child care centers, libraries, home day cares, will use this as an opportunity to bring together early educators in your community for discussion and professional camaraderie.

This grant provides:

1. $10 per person to provide food for organizing bodies to offer during the training. 

2. A collection of 10 new children's books valued for each person watching and discussing the video. 


* Be a child care provider, school-based program*, or community organization based in Vermont or New Hampshire's Upper Valley that serves low-income or at-risk children from 0-5.

* At least 35% of the children you serve must come from low-income families based on free and reduced lunch rate for your town's school.

* Be able to gather at least 10 providers.

* Be able provide wifi or devices for attendees to complete the feedback form. 

During the 2020-2021 school year, CLiF will offer 12 Rural Libraries grants (6 in Vermont and 6 in New Hampshire). Applications are due Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Ideal candidates will use the CLiF grant to think energetically, resourcefully, and creatively about getting books to children by collaborating with the local elementary school, childcare centers, and community members, encouraging family participation in the public library, and promoting the new collection of books.

  • $2,000 worth of new children’s books for the public library, to be chosen by the public librarian
  • $500 worth of new children’s books for the school library, to be chosen by the school librarian
  • A storytelling and book presentation at the local elementary school for all students PK-6, to be held between September and December.
  • An author or illustrator visit and book giveaway for all the students at the elementary school to be held between April and June. Each student will be able to choose two new books to take home and keep from hundreds of titles provided by CLiF. The public and school librarians will showcase their summer reading programs.
  • Two storytelling presentations and two book giveaways for the local child care(s) on the same days as the two presentations at the school. After the storytelling, each child will be able to choose two books to take home and keep, and CLiF will leave behind an on-site library of 15 new books at the child care.
  • $250 grant application to support programming in your library.



  • Public library in Vermont or New Hampshire.
  • Located in a town of 5,000 residents or fewer.
  • Limited budget, libraries with annual budget of less than $125,000 generally given preference.
  •  Demonstrated need for CLiF support.
  • Enthusiasm to partner with the local elementary school, child care centers, and community members.
  • Must be a minimum of four years since your last Rural Library grant.

Application Process

The deadline to apply for a Year of the Book Grant is Wednesday, January 29, 2020. All applications must be submitted online no later than this date to be considered. A completed application will include:

  • A completed Year of the Book application form
  • A statement of support from the school principal
  • A statement of support from the director or children’s librarian of the local public library
  • A statement of support from the school librarian
  • Statements of support from one or more teachers (Optional, but strongly encouraged)
  • Any additional materials that demonstrate the school’s need for supplementary literacy programming and/or the creative, enthusiastic ways that the school staff will help this initiative to succeed
  • Final statement: CLiF will ask grant finalists to submit a one-page final statement summing up their commitment to Year of the Book programs


Schools that receive Year of the Book grants are asked to facilitate their grant’s success by completing the following activities before the end of the current school year: 

  • Community Literacy Conference: Grant recipients will be announced by March 11, 2020, in expectation that the school will be able to send one or more participants to the Community Literacy Conference on March 25, 2020. This conference will be held at Lake Morey Resort, in Fairlee, VT, and is free to Year of the Book schools. The conference includes Year of the Book information sessions, networking with current, incoming, and past Year of the Book schools, and exciting hands-on sessions around literacy. 
  • Local Coordinator: Schools must select a local coordinator. The coordinator will be CLiF’s onsite contact. He or she will work with the school and a local advisory committee to organize, schedule, and report on events and programs. The coordinator may be an administrator, teacher, parent, or librarian. CLiF will pay the coordinator a stipend of $500 for the year as a small expression of our thanks for their efforts.
  • Advisory Committee: CLiF asks the local coordinator to assemble a committee of teachers, staff, parents, and/or community members to help with event planning and promotion and with maintaining momentum after the grant period.
  • Informational Kickoff Meeting: In April or May 2020, CLiF will visit each sponsored school to meet the local coordinator, advisory committee, principal, and teachers involved with the planning process. This meeting will last about an hour. At this meeting, CLiF staff will work with your school to plan the fall Kick Off event, to brainstorm an initial calendar of events for the upcoming year, and to answer any questions.
Children's Literacy Foundation