To support your school in submitting a strong grant application, we have provided the following list of general and section-specific suggestions and tips.
- Please use the application worksheet to prepare your answers in advance of opening the online application.
- Avoid generalizations. For example, instead of writing “our library books are very old,” provide details such as “30% of our books are over 15 years old.”
- Provide references for all the data you submit to support your answers.
- The best applications generally have the input from several members of your school’s literacy team.
- Complete the application by typing your answers directly into the online form, uploading your creative content, and clicking submit.
- Deadline for submissions is January 15th 2023 at 11:59PM (EST).
Please note: The above worksheet 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.
Application Section A: Demographic Criteria
We use this section to determine the need for funding at your school. This is an opportunity to provide us with demographic information about your school’s community and demonstrate why your school is a high-needs elementary school.
Application Section B: Library Status
This section gives us an idea of the resources your school currently commits to both the school library and classroom libraries. You will likely need to consult library and office records to fill out this section of the application.
Application Section C: Current and Future Literacy Programming
PART 1: CURRENT STATE OF LITERACY PROGAMMING AT YOUR SCHOOL
This is an opportunity to show us what your school is already doing to foster literacy. In this section, you can showcase the principal and staff’s commitment to literacy as well as what is being done to make reading a priority for the staff and students. When describing a current literacy program at your school, please be aware of the following:
- Be detailed but concise and structure your answer so our judges are able to easily and accurately assess the merits of each program.
- You must clearly describe the challenges each program is intended to address and what is being done to overcome those challenges.
- Provide information about assessment methods for success, as well as any successes to date in the program
- Do not only provide anecdotal evidence (“more students are signing out books from the library”) but provide quantitative metrics as well (“library circulation increased by 30% from 500 to 650 since the program was implemented two years ago”).
- Consider providing examples of how the principal and staff prioritize literacy in programming as well as their involvement with the school curriculum and community to develop and strengthen literacy at your school. Where possible, provide evidence that these leadership roles had a positive effect on morale, teacher participation in school and/or literacy initiatives, student literacy scores, etc.
PART 2: FUTURE STATE OF LITERACY PROGRAMMING AT YOUR SCHOOL
This section is an opportunity to demonstrate that you have a plan in place to effectively allocate the funding in the event that your school is selected as a grant recipient. When describing any current literacy program you’d like to enhance OR any new literacy program* (optional) you would like to build out at your school with grant funding, please be aware of the following:
- You must provide a detailed timeline for implementation and a budget with a detailed breakdown of expenses.
- The budget should be based on your school’s wish list rather than how much you think might be awarded to your school. Grant amounts fluctuate from school to school and year to year, so we are not able to provide you with details as to what the grant amount would be for your school.
- Include an evaluation plan for each project and describe the assessment strategies that you will have in place to measure success.
* Please only provide information on new, proposed programs in the event that your school has the time and capacity to build out and properly assess over time. Ultimately, our judges will be looking for the depth and quality of your responses, not the quantity of proposed literacy enhancements in your application.
Application Section D: Literacy Support Structure
You must provide a transition plan that you would implement to introduce new staff members to the Literacy Fund grant. Consider ways to familiarize new staff with the parameters of the grant, your budget, spending timeline, purchase lists as well as key contacts at Indigo. Please note that the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation will give all grant recipient schools a Welcome Package with key contact information, an FAQ guide, and spending guidelines. Remember that the grant funding is provided in three installments over the course of three years. 90% of the grant is given in the form of an Indigo Corporate Account and 10% of the grant is given in the form of a cheque.
Application Section E: Enriching The Ecosystem of Learning at Your School
This section is not mandatory and will not be formally assessed, but rather helps us understand if we can further support your educational objectives through other initiatives (professional development, curriculum content, books lists, public speakers, etc.) that may arise over the course of the school year.
Application Section F: Community Involvement
This project is an opportunity to share your school’s story in your own words. There are two options for this mandatory creative project:
- A video that captures the values of your school and its commitment to literacy. As a suggestion, it can include interviews with members of your community; such as teachers, librarians, parents, and students (a maximum length of 5 minutes); OR
- Letters from teachers, librarians and students that share the impact of the library (a maximum of five letters). These letters should give us an impression of what life is like at your school, why your school library needs additional funding, and how you would effectively use additional funds to improve literacy among your students.
- We recommend that you begin your creative project in tandem with your online application.
- Creative content that is mailed to the Foundation will not be reviewed.
- Please do not upload extra materials. Only provide the number of photos, letters or video time allocated in the instructions. Any additional creative content will not be considered.
- 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.