Summer Stem Logo Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL), with funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awards up to 70 public, school, or academic libraries $500 each to help pay for materials or presenters to support STEM outreach efforts during the summer. The ICfL also provides a toolkit for learning activities and other resources. The Summer STEM from Your Library program has three primary goals:

  • Increase access to fun, engaging, hands-on STEM activities for underserved youth beyond the normal library programming efforts
  • Increase children’s access to books over the summer months
  • Increase the number of children who minimize learning loss during the summer

The grant application for 2024 is now open!

Eligibility

Who can apply:

Publicly-funded school, public, tribal, or academic libraries in Idaho that are compliant with Idaho’s grant eligibility guidelines (found here: https://libraries.idaho.gov/grants-funding/grant-eligibility/)

Grant Requirements

  • Provide outreach activities for a minimum of five weeks during the months of May – September 15, 2024; public libraries must hold at least 40% of their programs away from the library. Providing grab-n-go STEM kits or virtual STEM programs are considered outreach activities during this grant year.
  • Provide ICfL with the final number of people who engaged in Summer STEM activities and a summary of STEM experiences funded with the grant.
  • Expend all grant funds on allowable expenses by end of grant period.
  • Complete a summary report on how the STEM resources enhanced the library’s summer outreach (photos of programs are also encouraged).

Applications that meet the grant requirements will be awarded funding on a first-come, first-served basis. All types of publicly-funded libraries in Idaho may apply, but only libraries providing activities outside of their normal service models will be considered.

Dates & Resources

Important Dates & Info

  • Application period: January 15 – February 29, 204. After you apply, a confirmation email will be sent to you and to your Director (public and academic libraries) or School Principal (school libraries).
  • Distribution of funds: April 2024
  • Summer STEM programs: May 1 – August 31, 2024
  • Summary Report due: September 15, 2024

Resources

Do’s and Don’ts

Do

  • Planning your Summer STEM outreach programs: Use the new STEM Toolkit to plan great activities and check out our STEAM Learning Resources page for lots of great ideas for your programs.
    • During your programs, briefly explain the STEM concept that you are introducing.
    • Make sure to include new vocabulary words for kids to learn during your activity.
  • Partners: Consider partnering with a summer nutrition program; if you are a school or academic library, try partnering with your local public library.
  • Location: Provide outreach activities in the park, at a Boys & Girls club, farmer’s market or other location outside of the library; open the school library during the summer to provide access to books along side STEM activities; try a virtual STEM program using your library’s social media page(s).
  • Books: Try to provide access to books at your events – take bins of Little Libraries for kids to take & return, get gently used books from their Friends of the library group to hand out during outreach programs, etc.
  • Document: If you have time, try to get pictures or video of your programs to share. If you do take pictures and would like us to publish them in The Scoop or on social media, here’s a handy photo release form.
  • Record statistics: You should track the following at every program for your summary report (we need this info when we are preparing our report for the STEM Action Center, who is generously providing funding for this program – we even made a fancy tracking sheet to make it easier):
    • Date of your program
    • Location
    • STEM Activity
    • How many people participated
    • Were the children and teens who attended your program able to tell you what they learned?
    • Were you able to reach underserved populations in your community?
  • SPEND ALL YOUR GRANT FUNDS: Your grant award of $500 can be used to purchase supplies for your STEM program, manipulatives or books; bring in awesome presenters; and up to 10% can be used on promotional materials.
  • Save your receipts. You will need to submit receipts that show all the expenditures for your Summer STEM purchases with your summary report. If your receipts contain multiple purchases for other programs, help us out by clearly highlighting Summer STEM expenditures or creating a separate spreadsheet of expenditures and submitting it along with your receipts. You can scan and upload your receipts when you submit your final report, or contact Jennifer to make alternate arrangements (jennifer.redford@libraries.idaho.gov)

Don’t

  • Be afraid to try something new: Learning STEM is all about trying, failing, and trying again. This grant is a great opportunity to stretch yourself and learn something new!
  • Forget to record your statistics: We’re not asking for a lot of information, and it’s crucial for future funding requests.

Final Grant Report Instructions

Before Submitting Your Report

Gather the following info (if you have been using our tracking sheet, this won’t take long):

  • The total number of people who attended your Summer STEM programs
  • The total number of staff or volunteers who helped conduct STEM programs
  • The number of weeks that you held Summer STEM programs
  • The location(s) of your Summer STEM programs
  • list of the STEM activities that you did during your programs
  • The names of any organizations that you partnered with
  • Be ready to briefly describe successes, challenges, suggestions, and the best thing that you purchased with your grant funds
  • Scan your receipts for Summer STEM purchases and be ready to upload them in your report. If you are unable to scan your receipts (or take a picture of them), contact Jennifer to make alternate arrangements: jennifer.redford@libraries.idaho.gov

Submitting Your Report

After you have completed your last Summer STEM program, fill out the Summary Report by September 15, 2024. Link coming soon!

Want to know more about the evolution of the Summer STEM grant? Check out this article.

Jennifer Redford

Youth Services Consultant
Email / 208-639-4147
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