ARP-ESSER Summer Strategies Grant
Grants for your library system to use research-based best practices to build summer learning programs that connect with your library’s mission and strategic plan. You can view a checklist of the grant requirements and draft of the final report questions here.
Program Overview – Year 2
The Summer Learning Strategies Grant provides libraries throughout Idaho awards of $20,000 to plan for and expand their summer learning and enrichment programing. This funding opportunity aims to address learning loss among students related to the impact of reduced instructional time due to COVID-19. Selected libraries will participate in professional development, create a written plan for summer programming, build or expand a community partnership, and implement evidence-based summer learning and enrichment programs for youth in their communities.
To fulfill the professional development component of the Summer Learning Strategies Grant, participants will attend a virtual training on building equity-based summer programming and participate in a related community of practice with library staff from around the county. Participants will also be provided reading material and web content to explore summer learning best practices.
Grantees will conduct strategic planning for summer learning and enrichment programming. This is an opportunity for libraries to use grant funding to assess the needs of their communities and write a plan that incorporates community needs, the organization’s mission and values, and evidence-based best practices.
For the summer programming component of the grant, selected libraries should plan to increase or improve summer learning and enrichment activities in ways that address the needs of their local communities. Libraries could use the following strategies to implement the summer programming portion of the grant:
- Increase the number, type, frequency, or format of summer learning or enrichment programs.
- Expand or develop new programming to reach youth in communities with little to no access.
- Offer programming at times that may be more accessible to youth who have limited access during regular business hours.
- Provide additional staff time, or hire additional staff, to plan and conduct summer learning or enrichment programs.
- Conduct programs offsite to increase access to youth with limited available transportation.
- Reduce barriers by identifying ways to increase access for youth disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, including those from underserved racial and ethnic groups, children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, migrant youth, children experiencing homelessness, and youth in foster care.
- Increase programing quality through staff professional development, creating new curriculum, or building partnerships with community-based organizations, schools, or local governmental agencies.
- Bring in guest speakers, host demonstrations, or conduct teamwork exercises.
- Add new enrichment opportunities, such as college, trade school, and career exploration.
- Address the social and emotional needs of youth during summer programming.
- Provide transportation to and from summer learning or enrichment programs.
Selected libraries should focus on providing summer learning and enrichment programs on a variety of topics to address learning loss resulting from reduced instructional time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Examples of summer programing topics include, but are not limited to:
- Literacy and Reading
- The Arts
- History and Social Studies
- Physical Education
- College, Trade School, and Technical Education
- Career Exploration
- Strategies for Successful Learning and Studying
- Social and Emotional Well-Being
This program is administered by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and is made possible in part by the Idaho Board of Education and the U.S. Department of Education, with funding authorized by the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, Public Law 117-2, enacted on March 11, 2021. The ARP ESSER Fund aims to respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and also address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups, including those from different racial and ethnic groups, children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and youth in foster care.
- Strengthen the role of libraries as community organizations addressing learning loss by implementing high quality evidence-based summer learning programs.
- Build the institutional capacity of libraries by funding staff participation in training and professional development opportunities focused on summer learning best practices.
- Build the institutional capacity of libraries by conducting strategic planning for summer learning programming that aligns with the library’s mission, values, and strategic plan.
- Strengthen the role of libraries as community connectors by building or strengthening at least one partnership with a local organization to improve summer learning.
Eligibility – Year 2
This grant is open to public and special libraries (including tribal) in Idaho. One application/award per library legal entity. Multi-branch systems must submit a single application. In order to be eligible, the library must be able to provide programming to youth in grades K-12. Libraries that received the Summer Strategies Grant previously are eligible to apply again for up to $10,000. For definitions of library types, please see ICfL’s grant eligibility requirements at https://libraries.idaho.gov/grants-funding/grant-eligibility/.
To apply for this grant, the organization must obtain a non-proprietary Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number from the federal System of Award Management (SAM). The UEI is a requirement for grantees receiving federal funds administered by the ICfL and replaces the requirement for a DUNS number. Obtaining a UEI is free, but can take upwards of a week to several months if your entity is not already in the SAM system. Please see the SAM website for more information: https://sam.gov/content/home.
Selection Process and Agreement Instrument – Year 2
Applications deemed eligible and complete will be ranked by an ICfL grant review committee using a scoring rubric based upon the application narrative questions. Each narrative question identifies the number of associated points for that question. Grant reviewers may also take into account the overall project budget and the geographic distribution of applicants when ranking.
Official award notifications will be signed by the ICfL authorizing official, the State Librarian, or alternate assigned official. The completed application signed by the applicant, along with the official award notification signed by the ICfL authorizing official, will serve as the agreement/contract for this grant.
Key Dates for Year 2
Submit Applications: September 20 – November 8, 2023
Informational Webinar: August 24, 2023
Grant Period: November 30, 2023 – September 15, 2024
Attend virtual training session: January or February 2024
Participate in training-related community of practice beginning: April 2024
Participate in one regional or online workshop: dates tbd
Prepare and write strategic summer learning plans: December 2023 – May 2024
Interim Report Due: April 15, 2024
Conduct Summer Programs: June, July, and August 2024
Final Report Due: August 30, 2024
Program Requirements – Year 2
Award Summary. Libraries may apply for awards of $20,000. Funds may be used for summer learning strategic planning, staff professional development, establishing and building a partnership, and providing summer learning and enrichment programs for youth.
Required Activities. The library agrees to:
- Participate in professional development by attending a series of virtual discussions on building equity-based summer programs in 2024. Participate in a related community of practice with library staff from around the county beginning in February 2024.
- Engage in self-paced study focused on summer learning best practices and research. Read the book Summer Reading, Closing the Rich/Poor Achievement Gap, 2nd Edition, provided by the ICfL. Plan time to explore the National Summer Learning Association website: https://www.summerlearning.org/research-and-policy/.
- Participate in one regional or virtual planning workshop hosted by the ICfL in the fall of 2023 or the winter or spring of 2024.
- Develop a written plan for summer learning that incorporates best practices; aligns with the organization’s strategic plan, mission, and values; and meets the needs of the local community.
- Prepare and implement high-quality summer learning programs at your library or through outreach events during summer 2024. Use the knowledge and tools gained from conference attendance, strategic planning, and workshop participation to design the programs.
- Make reasonable efforts to create programming and content that is accessible to underrepresented student groups disproportionality affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, including those from underserved racial and ethnic groups, children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, children experiencing homelessness, and youth in foster care.
- Implement public health protocols during programming to maintain the health and safety of program participants and staff.
Allowable Expenditures. A grantee may only use program funds for allowable costs, as defined in the federal grant funds Uniform Guidance (2 C.F.R. Part 200), which includes the requirement that costs be reasonable and necessary for the accomplishment of program objectives.
The following is an abbreviated list of allowable grant expenses. It is not intended to be exhaustive or exclusive. Applicants should contact the ICfL if they are unsure if their proposed idea/expenditure is allowable.
- Compensation including salaries and wages for staff involved in strategic planning, preparing for, and providing summer learning and enrichment programs. This is intended to support the library with additional salary funds necessary to expand services or complete project objectives, and not replace existing salaries.
- Materials and supplies for summer learning and enrichment programs including technology and assistive technology devices.
- Materials and supplies such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning and sanitizing supplies necessary for safely conducting summer learning activities.
- Equipment used for summer learning. Equipment includes property (and information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or more. Equipment must be pre-approved in writing by the ICfL.
- Training and education costs for staff, including related travel expenses. Costs must be directly related to the purpose and successful fulfillment of this grant.
- Professional and consultant services such as those for translation, tutoring, guest speakers, or community partner programming.
- Services to increase summer learning or make learning opportunities more accessible such as those used for technological connectivity and subscriptions. Grant funds may only be used to pay for services provided during the official grant period.
- Advertising or publicity specifically related to the grant for (1) program outreach specific to the grant such as publishing dates and times of activities, (2) recruitment of personnel to carry out the grant; (3) procurement of goods or services to implement the grant.
Non-Allowable Expenditures. The following is an abbreviated list of non-allowable grant expenses. It is not intended to be exhaustive or exclusive. Applicants should contact the ICfL if they are unsure if a cost is allowable. The following items are not allowable grant expenses:
- Food and beverages. However, if a partner organization provides food, or the purchase of food is funded through another source, the grantee can use staff time paid for with grant funds to prepare or distribute the food to participants. Food is allowable if used primarily as a supply in a learning activity.
- Capital expenditures related to the purchase of real property, buildings, or motor vehicles.
- Construction expenditures related to the improvement or expansion of buildings and facilities.
- Advertising or publicity not related directly to the programs carried out though the grant.
- Costs of promotional items and memorabilia, including models, gifts, and souvenirs.
Reporting Requirements. The library agrees to:
- Document grant expenditures through receipts, payroll reports, accounting system reports, and/or invoices. Spending documentation must be submitted with the final report. Any grant funds not accounted for through documented spending must be returned to the ICfL.
- Collect program data required by the ICfL or our funding partners, the Idaho State Board of Education and the U.S. Department of Education.
- Facilitate surveys and/or site visits by the Idaho Out of School Network (ION) or their subcontractor for program evaluation purposes.
- Submit interim report by April 15, 2024.
- Submit final report by August 30, 2024.
Records Retention. The grantee must retain grant records for a period of three years following the end of the award period. Records include the grant application/agreement, award letter, correspondence, reports, financial records, and receipts.
Acknowledgement. This grant is administered by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and was made possible in part by the Idaho State Board of Education and the U.S. Department of Education. Please acknowledge these funding sources in signage, brochures, websites, press releases, and public events funded by this grant.
Funding Availability. The ICfL plans to disburse funds to awarded libraries at the beginning of the grant period. Disbursement of awards is conditional upon ICfL’s receipt of ARP ESSER funds from the Idaho State Board of Education and the U.S. Department of Education. If ARP ESSER funds become unavailable to the ICfL for any reason, the ICfL reserves the right to delay or withhold funding from awarded libraries, or cancel this grant program altogether. The ICfL will notify awarded libraries in writing if funding becomes unavailable. Grantees are advised not to incur post-award grant expenses until they receive written confirmation that the ICfL is disbursing funds to them.
The online application must be completed in one sitting and cannot be saved for completion at a later time. We suggest drafting responses in a separate document prior to completing the online form. The application must be signed and submitted with an electronic signature on or before November 8, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. MT. This application will serve as your official grant agreement if you are notified in writing that you have been approved for funding. The ICfL will notify all applicants whether or not they were selected for funding.
If you have questions about the application process, please contact either of the following staff members at the Idaho Commission for Libraries:
- Jennifer Redford, Youth Services Consultant, Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 639-4147
- Talela Florko, Grants/Contracts Officer, at email@example.com or (208) 334-2150
- Descriptive Title of Your Proposed Project
- Describe the need for increased summer learning opportunities for youth within your community. Please include the needs of one or more of the student groups listed in the authorizing legislation for this funding source including youth from underserved racial and ethnic groups, children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, children experiencing homelessness, and youth in foster care.
- Briefly describe your preliminary ideas for increasing summer learning and enrichment programs through your organization. Please include a brief description of your current or typical summer learning programs, and how these grant funds will be used to build upon or expand your existing offerings.
- Describe the community-based organization, school, or governmental agency you plan to partner with. Is there already a partnership in place or will you be building a new partnership? How will this partnership contribute to increased summer learning and enrichment opportunities for youth in your community?
- Describe the capacity of your organization to engage in a strategic planning process for summer learning and enrichment programming. Provide the name and title of the staff member(s) who will attend the regional or online workshops and coordinate the planning and writing efforts. Please indicate if your organization already has a written mission statement, set of values, and strategic plan.
- Identify a team from your library to attend the virtual Building Equity Based Summers training and participate in the related community of practice. The team should include at least one person who has decision-making authority over summer program funding and at least one person who is developing, implementing, or facilitating summer programs. Provide the names and titles of the staff members.
- Would you like to request additional non-monetary support or resources from the ICfL during the planning process? Please indicate the tools or resources that would help you to be successful in carrying out this grant.
- Requested Funding Amount
- Proposed Budget Table