American author Garrison Keilor once said, “A book is a gift you can open again and again.” For these purposes, I would like to provide an extension of this quote; not only is a book the gift that keeps on giving, stick that book in a classroom library, and that book is all of a sudden a gift that can change the perspectives of many students. Some students read these gifts because they are forced by their teacher, others read to escape from their reality, and others read to connect with others. No matter the reason for reading, those books impact students.
In September, I was researching ways I could receive funds to expand my recently procured classroom library. Thus far, it was made up of books that I had personally collected over the years and wonderful donations from the people who were kind enough to check a book off my Amazon wishlist. A brilliant idea sparked my mind, the honor society I had joined when I had been in college—that may be a place of solace with a Classroom Library Grant to expand the beloved library for my students. I was met with a chance to apply for the classroom library grant, and not in my wildest dreams would I have believed I would have received the $400 to add over eighty titles to my small collection of thirty.
Through this grant, my students have enjoyed choosing from many different genres and proving their comprehension skills through completing independent reading hours and book projects. Not only is Sigma Tau Delta the gift-giver of money that will go a long way, books are the present that can impact students lives over and over. Even if you believe it is far-fetched that you could be awarded a grant, it is worth the application just for the chance that your students may have access to “a gift they can open again and again.”
Sigma Tau Delta Classroom Library Grants
Sigma Tau Delta’s Classroom Library Grants are designed to enhance the Society’s goals of
- promoting interest in literature and language in the surrounding communities;
- fostering all aspects of the discipline of English, including literature, language, and writing; and
- serving society by fostering literacy.
The Classroom Library Grants are also intended to support our members who have entered the field of teaching and need material support to help achieve these goals through their work in the classroom by providing their students with a library in their own classrooms, especially where access to school or public libraries or to books in the home may be limited.
The Society will award up to five grants of $400 each per cycle to help members of Sigma Tau Delta who have been teaching in a Middle School or High School classroom for five years or fewer. That is, applicants may or may not be recent college graduates; the Classroom Library Grant is intended to help new Middle School and High School teachers, whether in their first years out of college or in the first years of a second career, to build a classroom library for their students.
Criteria For Selection
In choosing recipients, the Classroom Library Grant Committee will consider the following criteria:
- lack of economic and geographic access to books at your school, or another demonstrated need;
- the explanation of how the classroom library envisioned will support your goals in alignment with the Society’s goals; and
- supervisory endorsement of your classroom library project.
Please note that this grant is now only available to middle school and high school educators.
Deadline and Dates
Applications will be accepted through August 7, 2023, 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time (CDT). There will only be one application period for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Past Classroom Library Grant Recipients
Building a Classroom Library as a First-Year Teacher
Feeding the Minds of Our Future
Classroom Library Grant: A Book Blessing
Classroom Libraries: Inclusivity and the Reluctant Reader
“I Finished a Book!”: A Classroom Library’s Impact
The Unofficial Guide to Getting the Best Books for your Classroom
Creating Lifelong Readers with a Classroom Library Grant
The Contemporary American Dream: The Impact of a Classroom Library Grant
Building My Classroom Library: A Bright Spot in a Tough Year
Special Books for Special Students
New Books, New Motivation
If You Build a Classroom Library, They Will Read
Books are Our Passports to the World
Striking a Match