The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation exists to ensure that all Canadian kids have access to books and the opportunity to fall in love with reading. The Literacy Fund Grant is our largest national granting program, and was created to dramatically increase literacy access for kids across the country.
Literacy Fund Grants are awarded to schools and in some cases educational organizations in high-needs communities who are committed to fostering a love of reading and have a robust plan for how they would utilize new books and resources to enhance their vision. Generally, we define “high-needs” as a community challenged by socio-economic factors however, we consider other intersectional factors as well.
Every year, hundreds of schools across Canada apply for this grant to increase access to books for the children and youth they serve and while we work to reach as many as possible, generally only about 30 partners are selected. Both community need and vision for the grant are considered within the decision-making process, with full details available on the rubric provided. Grants are dispersed over a multi-year period. During that time, we work with grant recipients to track short- and long- term impacts, amplify stories of change and ultimately inspire other schools, parents, communities, and organizations to invest in literacy as well. Other benefits of the partnership include access to professional development opportunities, classroom resources and more!
The Literacy Fund Grant exists to enhance a number of impact areas to bolster a love of reading and enhance learning in schools. The six main categories of impact that we work to track include the following:
- Improve School Literacy Infrastructure and Inventory: increase access to a greater number of relevant literature and reading resources in an enhanced learning library environment.
- Increase Student Literacy Engagement: increase student engagement with literacy and reading to develop a life-long love of reading.
- Enhance Student Literacy Achievement: improve reading level outcomes in students and more readily meet curricular expectations through expanded access to books.
- Enhance Student and Educator Skills: increase student and educator skills within certain curricular areas such as: Indigenous Knowledge and Worldviews, issues relating to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), Environmental literacy, STEM, etc. through access to books and educational resources.
- Enhance Community Engagement: increase involvement of parents, family and community members around literacy initiatives at your school.
- Enhance student school engagement: increase overall student engagement with their library/school over time through expanded access to literature.
To be eligible for consideration for the Literacy Fund Grant, applicants must:
- Receive at least 80% of their funding from the provincial or federal government
- Serve elementary age students in grades K-8
- Exhibit a strong commitment to literacy!
Please note that schools can only receive a Literacy Fund grant once. If you are not sure whether or not your school has received this grant in the past, or have any other questions on eligibility, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a school board, education authority, or literacy non-profit organization applying on behalf of priority schools in your network/district- your schools must also fit the above criteria.
The literacy fund grant is broken into two distinct portions:
- 90% is set up as a Corporate Account for Love of Reading schools to purchase books and E-readers through Indigo, Indigospirit, Chapters and Coles locations at a 30% discount
- 10% is provided in the form of a discretionary cheque and is to be used to support literacy projects at the school.
The 90% portion of the grant can used at Indigo either in-store or through Corporate Sales for the purchase of books and Kobo e-readers to help promote a community of learning at your school.
Examples of what cannot be purchased with the 90% allotment:
- Gift cards
- General merchandise (i.e. toys, furniture, décor)
- Gourmet merchandise (e.g. Food items)
The 10% cash portion of the grant is to be used towards funding for educational resources and literacy projects.
Examples of how these funds could be spent:
- Guest authors to read to classes
- School trips to see plays/theatres including busing/transportation costs
- Levelled readers, dual-language books, e-books, resources that are not currently available through Indigo
- Prizes for writing/reading contests
- Professional Development for teachers (Literacy Programs)
Examples of what cannot be purchased:
- Capital investments (i.e. playgrounds, building additional rooms)
|Late November 2023
|Application training session (happening virtually)
|Week of December 4-8
|February 28, 2024, 11:59 PM EST (First Nations-operated schools and organizations only) ; the original deadline was January 14th for all other applying schools and organizations
|First Round- Indigo internal review (first shortlist)
|Mid-late January 2024
|Second Round- Educator round (second shortlist)
|Third Round- Love of Reading team completes final shortlist to confirm
|All Grant applicants are notified of of their status
|Late April 2024
|Grant applicants are announced nationally
|Grant funding is dispersed to recipient for the first year of the Grant program
*Please note: The above dates are subject to change by the Indigo Love of Reading team and all applicants will be notified of any major changes to the application process schedule.
Watch the Application Training Video
- Applications for funding must be completed via the online application. If you don’t have adequate access to the internet or technology, please contact the Indigo Love of Reading team as soon as possible at email@example.com to discuss alternative methods of submitting the application.
- Please make sure your application is complete. We will not process incomplete applications.
- The foundation will only accept one application per school or educational organization (e.g. School boards, First Nations Educational Authorities, Non-profit literacy organizations, etc.)
- Applications that are printed or handwritten, and then mailed/faxed to the Foundation will not be accepted for review.
STEP 1: REVIEW THE APPLICATION GUIDE
We strongly suggest that you download and review the 2024 Literacy Fund Grant Application Guide for individual schools and educational organizations. This application guide will help you apply for the 2024 Literacy Fund Grant. Please read these guidelines carefully to ensure your school and project are eligible for funding and that you are prepared to respond to the various sections of the application.
STEP 2: PREPARE YOUR ANSWERS
Please download a copy of the application worksheet where you can see all of the questions in advance to prepare your answers in advance of completing the online application.
- Individual school application worksheet: can be downloaded HERE
- Educational organizations and school boards application worksheet: can be downloaded HERE
Please note: The above worksheets cannot be uploaded to the online portal, nor emailed to us as an official application. All responses must be entered directly into the online application form.
STEP 3: SUBMIT YOUR ONLINE APPLICATION Gather your documents (prepared answers, supporting materials, etc.) and click the ‘Apply Now’ button.
Application Review Steps
First Round- Internal Indigo review (first shortlist): eligible applications are scored by a grant review committee composed of internal staff at Indigo that have a vested interest in equitable educational opportunities and supporting the activities of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. All committee members score their assigned applications with a designated rubric and provide their overall feedback and a tabulated score. Each application is reviewed by three different judges and the final score is a calculated average between the three scores. The top 100-120 applications then move on to the second round.
Second Round- Educator review (second shortlist): shortlisted applications are scored by a grant review committee composed of educators and admin from current literacy fund grant schools. All educator committee members score their assigned applications with a designated rubric and provide their overall feedback and a tabulated score. Each application is reviewed by three different educator judges and the final score for each school is a calculated average between the three scores. The top 50-80 applications then move on to the third round.
Third Round- Love of Reading team completes final shortlist: decisions are made to confirm the top 25-30 applicants that will participate in the literacy fund grant program. Careful consideration is given to select a cohort across the country that has meaningful reach across:
- Indigenous/First Nations on-reserve schools
- Northern/remote/rural schools
- Schools located in areas of the country with large BIPOC populations
- French-language (Francophone) and French-Immersion schools
Is the form secure given the sensitive nature of the information?
The platform is continuously maintained with the latest security features.
Can I save and come back to the application later?
Yes. Please be aware of the following steps:
- Fill out the online application form
- Click on “Save and continue later” at the bottom of the form, when you need to resume filling the application out at a later time.
- When you see the system giving you a link – you can copy that link and use it later, or supply an email address so that you can email yourself the application link. The link is valid for 90 days from last access and can be used again.
Urgent reminder: even if you click on the link to continue, you must hit “Save and continue later” to save your progress-to-date, or else any changes since the last save will be lost.
Can I share my school login with other literacy team members to add content to the application?
Yes, your application link can be shared to allow your entire literacy team to participate in the application process. Please note, however, that only one team member can be logged in at a time.
Can I edit the form after submission?
No. The submission is final. Once submitted, the form can no longer be edited. You can, however, save as you go to take the time you need prior to submission.
What do we do if we submit the application by accident before it is complete?
If you have accidentally submitted an incomplete application, email the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to upload a video for my school’s creative project. What video formats are accepted?
You can upload your video in one of the following formats: WMV (Windows Media Video); MOV (Apple QuickTime Movie) or MP4 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 4). The maximum size is 100MB.
Alternatively, you may upload an unlisted video on YouTube and provide a link.
My creative project is too large to upload to the grant application portal. What do I do?
If your creative content is too large to upload to the grant application portal, consider uploading your content to an online file storage service (such as Google Drive), pasting the link to that file in a Word document, and then uploading that document to the application portal. If you elect to use an online file storage service, we cannot take responsibility for ensuring that such a service keeps your information private.
For questions about the literacy fund grant program or for general guidance about preparing your application, please contact:
The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation
620 King Street West, Suite 400
Telephone: 416-364-4499 x4836