Kindergarten Readiness Grant

//Kindergarten Readiness Grant
Kindergarten Readiness Grant2018-11-27T11:23:05+00:00

Kindergarten Readiness Grant LogoThe Idaho Commission for Libraries has launched a new pilot grant to build the capacity of Idaho public libraries to better prepare preschool children to be successful in school. The Kindergarten Readiness grant will provide state funding to help public libraries partner with their local school districts and other community partners to reach children and their families before they enter school.

Libraries play an important role in early childhood success through the expertise of trained librarians, early literacy programs, books, and digital tools that many families can’t afford on their own. Children who start school behind rarely catch up with their peers without costly direct reading intervention. Children who have been exposed to early literacy practices before they enter school are more likely to become successful readers throughout their years of schooling.

Apply for up to $10,000 in grant funds to

  1. Ensure that more Idaho four-year-olds and their families have public library cards to gain access to the tools and resources needed to help children succeed in school;
  2. Increase the amount of early literacy activities done in the homes of four-year-olds; and
  3. Increase the number of successful public library, school, and community partnerships aimed at third-grade reading proficiency.

At your library. Libraries are trusted, welcoming places where children make discoveries, expand words and knowledge, and connect their natural curiosity to the world. Libraries level the playing field for children of all income levels, providing free and accessible learning opportunities that help prepare young children for school.

However, many families in Idaho, especially those of lower socioeconomic levels, are not accessing books and other learning opportunities from their local library. Behind from the start. Idaho State Department of Education statistics from the fall of 2017 indicate that almost 63% of low-income children (those qualifying for free or reduced lunch) entered kindergarten with less than a proficient level of literacy readiness.

Research shows that children who start behind will stay behind and in many cases, continue to lose ground, making it more likely they will need costly remediation, be retained, or even drop out of school.

From Growing Young Minds: How Museums and Libraries Create Lifelong Learners, 2013:

It takes a village. Research provides strong evidence of the critical importance of community- or place-based efforts in supporting children’s growth and development, especially in the earliest learning years. Local conditions can have a major impact on whether children succeed, and challenges must be addressed within the context of the community to assure effective solutions are reached. To that end, communities across the nation are coming together to develop plans to address problems and put policy strategies into action.

At the heart of these efforts is an understanding that real change will only be accomplished through broad-based, multi-sector collaboration. Libraries are well-positioned to be integral parts of coordinated efforts, but are too often untapped or disconnected resources in community efforts to support more positive outcomes for families and children.

Librarians are important facilitators of learning: they are anchoring their practices in research and partnering with other community service providers to provide high-quality, informal learning opportunities; and they are creating environments, programs, and experiences that expand and deepen the abilities of our youngest learners, their families, and caregivers. In turn, communities are beginning to recognize that libraries are key components of their early learning infrastructure, and school leaders are recognizing that engaging public and school librarians can improve children’s outcomes in school.

The Idaho Commission for Libraries’ Kindergarten Readiness Grant will support library-led, community-based efforts to:

  • Increase high-quality early learning experiences
  • Increase access to library services (books, materials, and digital resources) for underserved children and their families
  • Engage and support families as their child’s first teacher
  • Create multi-level approaches that advance third-grade reading proficiency and promote kindergarten readiness
  • Address the Summer Slide
  • Link digital technology to learning
  • Leverage community partnerships
  • Add capacity to early learning networks

There are many exciting projects, partnerships, models, and best practices currently taking place in communities nationwide (see Resources and Examples below). Whether you are building on existing early learning partnerships, or thinking of new ways to collaborate to serve your preschool families, this grant funding will support high-quality, innovative, and impactful projects that increase the number of children entering kindergarten ready to learn.

Note

Applications for the Kindergarten Readiness Grant must be submitted electronically on or before September 14, 2018.

Grant Eligibility

Only Idaho public libraries may apply. Applications will be ranked by the applicants’ responses to the weighted grant application questions and include: the needs of the community, the strength of the partnerships and commitment to carry out the grant plan, the initial plan to reach four-year-olds in the library’s service area, ability to measure the project’s success/impact, and budget. The ranking committee may also take into consideration the geographical distribution across the state.

Grant Requirements

Grant period: October 15, 2018 – May 15, 2019

Grant Goals:

  1. Ensure that more Idaho four-year-olds and their families have public library cards to gain access to the tools and resources needed to help children succeed in school;
  2. Increase the amount of early literacy activities done in the homes of four-year-olds; and
  3. Increase the number of successful public library, school, and community partnerships aimed at third-grade reading proficiency.

Training and Support: Library staff and partners will be required to attend a webinar to review grant requirements and share information about project plans with other grant recipients (date to be determined). If you can’t attend the live webinar, viewing the recorded version is required. An ICfL consultant will also be assigned to provide assistance and technical support throughout the grant cycle.

Documentation: Complete an interim report (due February 6, 2019) and a final report (due May 30, 2019), which will also include a summary financial report.

Allowable Expenditures:

  • Programs focused on kindergarten readiness for four-year-olds that provide blended learning opportunities (time to socialize with peers, hands-on learning opportunities, introduction to digital learning tools, etc.)
  • Devices and mobile hot spots for families to check out to access Smarty Ants™, Tumblebooks™, and other early learning resources
  • Dedicated children’s computers for the library to facilitate access to Smarty Ants™, Tumblebooks™, and other early learning resources
  • Outreach events; taking early literacy programming to where young children and their families gather
  • Waiving overdue fines for children (not to exceed 25% of grant award)
  • Non-resident library card fees
  • Library card materials
  • Public Relations materials
  • Personnel, especially native Spanish-speakers, for programs and outreach
  • Parent & family events (noting that food is not an allowable expense)
  • Summer reading / out-of-school reading support
  • Community audits or surveying parents of preschoolers
  • Translation of materials/signage into other languages
  • Other materials and/or services that will support your community plan to increase early literacy

Non-allowable Expenditures:

  • Grant funds spent on personnel cannot be used to fulfill regular institution salary costs. Personnel will be required to document time spent working on the grant project to verify that costs are true, accurate and not double-billed to the grant and normal operational costs.
  • No more than 25% of the grant funds can be spent to waive overdue fines for children.
  • Grant funds cannot be spent on construction or other capital improvements.
  • Grant funds cannot be spent on food or snacks.
2018
July 10 – September 14: Grant application open
October 1: Grant applicants notified about their status via email
October (TBD): Grant recipients attend webinar, grant funds distributed to library
October 15: Grant period begins
2019
February 6: Interim report due
May 1: Last of grant funds must be obligated, to ensure all invoices are paid before May 30
May 15: End of grant period
May 30: Final report due

If you have questions about the grant application or the application process, please contact Jamie Mott, Grants/Contracts Officer, at libgrants@libraries.idaho.gov or Staci Shaw, Youth Services Consultant, at staci.shaw@libraries.idaho.gov or by phone at 1-800-458-3271.

Staci Shaw

Staci Shaw

Youth Services Consultant
Email / 208.639.4178
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