Special Books for Special Students

I received the Classroom Library Grant from Sigma Tau Delta after applying for the grant to find more level-appropriate books for my students. I am a second year teacher for elementary students with Autism. When I first started teaching, the books I had in my classroom were not level-appropriate for my students. Many of my students do not know how to read yet and having a classroom library of books that a neuro-typical second grade student would read was unhelpful for my students. When I heard about the Classroom Library Grant, I was very excited. With this grant, I would be able to supply my students with more books that help develop their reading skills, while also creating a form of entertainment for my students.

Many of the books I chose with my library grant were sensory books. Sensory books allow my students to achieve the sensory input they need, as well as telling a story to my students. Some of the books I purchased for my classroom library were Never Touch A books. These books give characteristics of animals or objects while allowing the students to feel different objects throughout the book.

By being a member of Sigma Tau Delta, I was able to receive not only the Classroom Library Grant, but also more information about conferences that could benefit my education in library books for elementary students. Working with students with disabilities has shaped the way I view classroom libraries. Not only is it important to have grade-level texts, it is also important to have texts that support the reader and the reader’s learning. With the Classroom Library Grant, I was able to supply books for my students that help promote their reading skills and their interest in books.

Sigma Tau Delta has offered me so many opportunities throughout my college and career experience. I was able to gain education through the University of San Francisco and the English department. Becoming a special education teacher has taught me that Sigma Tau Delta has helped to prepare me for an understanding and importance of literature in the classroom. All students deserve a literature education, even if they are learning in different ways.

I am thankful that Sigma Tau Delta has offered me the Classroom Library Grant this year because it has allowed me to become more aware of the books that my students need in the classroom. Sigma Tau Delta has also offered my students the opportunity to read books that are interesting to them. My students and I are very happy that we were able to get some new books in our classroom, as well as more learning experiences through lesson plans that the books can support.

Ivana Perez
Classroom Library Grant Recipient, 2019-2020
Saddleback Elementary School, Maricopa Unified School District #20
Maricopa, AZ


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 year to help members of Sigma Tau Delta who have been teaching in the 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 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 9, 2021, 11:59 p.m. CST. Awards will be announced September 3, 2021.


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