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Grants for Literacy Education

Fri, Feb 8, 2019 @ 15:02 PM / by Vickie Garton-Gundling

LiteracyThe ability to read and write is something many of us take for granted. Yet, USA Today reports, 1 in 7 adults—or 32 million adults—in the United States cannot read, according to a U.S. Department of Education literacy assessment study (2011). Literacy education seeks to reduce these numbers by teaching reading, writing, critical thinking, second language acquisition, and other important literacy skills. Whether your school or organization provides literacy education for children, adults, or families, there are many grants available for literacy education funding and resources.

Dollar General Literacy Foundation

This Foundation offers five different grants for literacy education:

  • Adult Literacy Grant: This grant is available to non-profit organizations that offer educational and language literacy programs for adults, including Basic Adult Education classes, GED or high school equivalency courses, and English Language Acquisition (ELA) instruction. The maximum grant amount is $15,000, and applications are usually due in mid-to-late February.
  • Family Literacy Grant: This grant supports the literacy work of family literacy service providers, including non-profits, schools, or community organizations. Eligible organizations must offer a combination of adult-only literacy instruction, child-only literacy programs, and adult-child in tandem initiatives. The maximum grant amount is $15,000, and applications are usually due in mid-to-late February.
  • Summer Reading Literacy Grant: This grant is available to local nonprofit organizations and libraries to start or enhance summer reading programs for K-12 students. Funded programs must serve at least one of the following demographics: novice readers, students with learning disabilities, or readers who are behind for their current grade level. The maximum grant amount is $3,000, and applications are usually due in mid-to-late February.
  • Youth Literacy Grant: Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations looking to start or expand literacy programs for struggling youth learners and readers may apply for this grant. The grant also funds certain purchases to help enhance existing literacy instruction, including new books, technology, and other materials. The maximum grant amount is $4,000, and applications are usually due in mid-May.
  • Beyond Words: The Dollar General School Library Relief Program: Together, Dollar General and The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) offer this grant for public school libraries who need help replenishing books, media, or library equipment that was destroyed or damaged by a natural disaster or terrorist attack. Only public schools that had functioning libraries headed by a certified librarian prior to the disaster may apply. To be eligible, schools must also be within 20 miles of a Dollar General Store location. Award amounts are typically between $10,000 and $20,000, but this grant program does offer annually two “catastrophic grants” of $50,000 each to schools that were particularly severely impacted by a disaster. Applications are due within 36 months from the date of the disaster, and funding must be used within 180 days of award receipt.

Tina B. Carver Fund

The Teaching Materials Grant supports U.S. organizations that provide adult English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for novice and hard-to-reach learners. Funds must be use to purchase or enhance learning materials or other teacher-related materials, excluding textbooks. While non-profits, community agencies, and charitable institutions are eligible for funding, each organization must work with a Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) or TESOL affiliate member who will submit the grant application on the organization’s behalf. Grants are for a maximum of $400. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis within three timeframes each year: March 1st – May 31st, July 1st – September 30th, and November 1st – January 31st.


Looking for grants to fund your next education project? The Grant Helpers can assist you in your grant search and application process.  Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

Photo Credit: Natalie Maynor

USA Today:

Topics: reading grant, literacy grants, literacy, education grants, grants for libraries, library grants, grant funding, school library grants, school libraries

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