Grant Opportunities

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming.

School libraries, public or private, that served children in grades K-8 and conducted humanities programs during the 2013-14 school year are eligible. The winning library will receive $5,000.
Applications, award guidelines and a list of previous winners are available at Nominations must be received by Dec. 15, 2014. School librarians are encouraged to self-nominate.

Applicant libraries must have conducted a humanities program or program series during the prior school year (2013-14). The humanities program can be focused in many subject areas, including social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign language and culture. Programs should focus on broadening perspectives and helping students understand the wider world and their place in it. They should be initiated and coordinated by the school librarian and exemplify the role of the library program in advancing the overall educational goals of the school.

Named after the late Sara Jaffarian, a school librarian and longtime ALA member, ALA’s Jaffarian Award was established in 2006 to recognize and promote excellence in humanities programming in elementary and middle school libraries. It is presented annually by the ALA Public Programs Office in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). The award is selected annually by a committee comprising members of the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee (PCPAC), AASL and the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC).

Funding for the Jaffarian Award is provided by ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund (CCF). In 2003, a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities kick-started a campaign to secure the future of libraries as cultural destinations within the community. Since then, CCF has grown to more than $1.7 million, serving libraries as they serve their communities through the highest quality arts and humanities programs. To contribute to CCF, visit

Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Offers Grants to Help Inner-City Educators: The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corporation’s Limited GEO: Grants to Help Inner-City Educators will fund specific, one-time future education-related needs or ideas that promise to improve inner city education within one year. Small, concrete projects that will improve inner-city education in Boston, Hartford, Providence, New York or Washington, D.C. within the coming year are eligible. The maximum award is $2,000 and the deadline is ongoing.

Grants for Libraries

Grant Wrangler:  Find Funding for K-12 Schools

The Grant Channel by Mackin

Follett Library Resources: Grants & Funding

Scholastic: Grants for Libraries

Donation Sites

Donors Choose
Teachers/librarians post requests for the total dollar amount needed to purchase materials for specific classroom projects.  Individuals or companies can then search for projects to support.  Donors can decide how much to contribute to each project.  Once the project donation goal is reached, Donors Choose delivers the materials to the school.  Students describe what they have learned as a result of using the new materials through photos and thank you notes to donors. Donors Choose is a Boston Public Schools partner.

halfpriceHalf Price Books
Half Price Books donates books to libraries and classrooms.  Make an online request including information on how the donation will be used and then wait to hear whether you have been chosen to receive free books.

According to their website, “Adopt-A-Classroom partners donors with teachers so you can have funds to purchase critical resources and materials for your classroom. By registering, your classroom will be posted on the Adopt-A-Classroom website available for donors to select. When adopted, you will have full discretion to purchase items that meet your unique classroom needs.”  Adopt-A-Classroom is a Boston Public Schools partner.

ClassWish helps teachers and schools attract donations from parents, local businesses, alumni and others in the community.  Teachers or librarians create a wish list of what they need and ClassWish helps communicate these needs to parents and supporters. Once donations are received for a particular school, teachers/librarians are able to request specific items using the funds and ClassWish sends donations directly to the school.