At a time when our country feels tense/divided and isolated/uncertain, CLiF has designed a grant opportunity to help build bridges and strengthen relationships between different groups within communities. In this year where planning is difficult, CLiF has combined our Revive your Literacy Programming and Community Building grants to offer more flexible opportunities to use reading and writing to connect kids to their communities while building a love of literacy. The Revive grant is typically $500 to support programming, and the Community Building is $1000 for author visits, books, and events. This year, the application asks how much money you are requesting. CLiF is open to many ways of safely and meaningfully delivering the components of these grants. 

  • Reading Buddies for Seniors or Pen Pals - includes an author visit, an onsite library, and a two book giveaway (budgeted at $1000)
  • 1000 Books Before Kindergarten - includes an author visit, an onsite library, and a two book giveaway (budgeted at $1000)
  • Poetry Workshop led by CLiF Poet Presenter - includes 3 days with one of our poets and entry into our poetry event/publication (details to come) (budgeted at $1000)
  • This is What Democracy Looks Like - visit from Center for Cartoon Studies, copies of the comic for students, and funds for a civic engagement project (budgeted at $1000)
  • Design your own! What project will bring your students into contact with their community with literacy as an engagement point? (select $500 or $1000)

CLiF is open to your ideas on programming that connects kids with their communities!

Goals of the Community Building Grants

·      Build empathy for others by connecting with new groups

·      Create excitement around sharing books and writing

·      Inspire students and adults to read and write for pleasure

·      Encourage an appreciation for similarities and differences

·      Support all kinds of young readers and writers

·      Ensure children have high-quality books of their own at home

·      Engage parents and encourage reading and writing at home

Who Is Eligible to Apply?

·      Community organizations located in New Hampshire or Vermont.

·      Your project must serve a community with at least 30% of students qualifying for free/reduced lunch. Your application must show how you will partner with CLiF’s target audience of low-income, at-risk, and rural children.

·      At least 30 kids must participate in the program.

·      Organizations with an enthusiastic and organized coordinator willing to collaborate with CLiF on planning, organizing, and communicating about your project.  

·      Partners must complete the grant and send final feedback by June 15, 2021.

·      Applications will be accepted until January 27, 2021. Decisions will be made by February 3, 2021. 

How CLiF Will Select Grant Recipients

Criteria include:

  • Demonstrated need and excitement
  • Enthusiasm, creativity, and collaboration exhibited by the partners
  • Clear demonstration of how this grant will benefit students and their communities

Questions should be sent to Meredith Scott, Program Director, 

Application Process

The deadline to apply for a Year of the Book Grant is Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Below you will find more information on how we are trying to accommodate the current uncertainties caused by COVID-19. 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


Because of COVID-19, CLiF is pushing back the timing of our application, acceptance, and training timeline for CLiF Year of the Book. 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: Due to COVID-19, we will hold the conference virtually in March; we are finalizing timing and details. Typically, we would announce grant recipients in advance of the conference. This year, we will require any applicants of Year of the Book to send one or more participants to the virtual conference. We will announce grant recipients by April 7, 2020. The virtual conference will still include 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 May 2020, CLiF will visit, in-person if possible or virtually, 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