Opportunities: Book-Related Grants and a STEM Contest that Tackles Community Issues | News Bites

As budgets tighten, don't miss the opportunity to apply for funding.

Funding opportunities have never been more important, as budgets are tight and educators continue to try to teach through the disruption of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Here are some available book-related grants, as well as a contest for STEM students to create a project that addresses a national or local issue.

Summer Reading Grant

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is now accepting ­applications for the ALSC/Baker & ­Taylor Summer Reading Grant.

The $3,000 grant is designed to encourage reading programs for children in public libraries.

This year, the committee will consider proposals for virtual programming, as well as in-person programs.

Each application will be judged on the following:

  • The plan and outline submitted for a theme-based summer reading program in a public library
  • Program ideas that are open to all children (birth–14 years)

The committee also encourages proposals for children with physical or ­mental disabilities. Applicants must be ALSC and ALA members. The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2020. For more information and to apply, visit bit.ly/3lM2qRi.

Will Eisner Graphic Novels Grants

The 2021 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries is now taking applications. These grants recognize libraries for their role in the growth of graphic literature.

Three grants are available. Two recipients will receive the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants, which provide support to libraries that would like to expand existing graphic novel collections, services, and programs. A third recipient will receive the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant, which provides support to a library for the initiation of a new graphic novel service or program.

Each grantee receives $4,000 in funding for programming and collection development, as well as a selection of the 2021 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award winners. Applicants must be ALA ­members. The deadline to submit is Sunday, February 7, 2021.

National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Grant

The National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with Arts Midwest, is now taking applications for grants to hold an NEA Big Read project between September 2021 and June 2022. National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program is a community-wide read of one of a selection of titles, book discussions, and local book-inspired events. The deadline for grant applications is January 27, 2021.

The books available for 2021-2022 programming are:

  • An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui
  • The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories by Jack London
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Resources for each book, such as readers’ guides and teachers’ guides, will be available in Spring 2021. A webinar for potential applicants will be held on Thursday, November 12 at 1 p.m. ET. Click here to register. Visit Arts Midwest’s website for application details.

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest

The 11th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest is taking applications for the chance to win part of a prize valued at $2 million in technology and supplies. The nationwide contest is for public school students in grades 6-12. Teachers submit project ideas from students using project-based learning to tackle local and national issues. Past entrants have addressed mental health, wildfire safety, and climate change.

Samsung employees will advise on projects or all semi-finalists. Mentors have committed to offering informative webinars, Q&A sessions, one-on-one video calls, and more.

Solve for Tomorrow offers the opportunity for teachers to bring their students together for project-based learning and hands-on STEM skills whether teaching kids in-person or online. New to this year’s contest, Samsung will offer teachers who register two professional development opportunities through mindSpark Learning.

The deadline for applications is December 13. For more information or to apply, visit Samsung.com/solve.

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