To support your school in submitting a strong grant application, we have provided the following list of general and section specific suggestions and tips.
- Literacy Fund grants are awarded to high-needs schools that effectively foster a culture of literacy despite limited resources.
Generally, we consider a “high-needs” school to be one that is challenged by various socio-economic factors. These factors can include a higher than average number of students from single-parent or low-income families, a high level of transience among the student population, or a high number of students who face linguistic barriers to learning.
- Please note that schools can only receive a Love of Reading Literacy Fund grant once. If you are not sure whether or not your school received this grant in the past, please reach out to us at LORliteracyfund@indigo.ca.
- To view the complete list of the Literacy Fund grant application questions, please download the application worksheet. Please note: This worksheet cannot be uploaded to the online portal, nor emailed to us as an official application. All responses must be entered directly into the online application form.
- As you work, consider keeping a back-up copy of your answers by copying and pasting them onto the application worksheet.
- To view sample responses from past grant recipients, please download the sample responses document (PDF)
- Avoid generalizations. For example, instead of writing “our library books are very old,” provide details such as “30% of our books are over 15 years old.”
- Provide references for all the data you submit to support your answers.
- Complete the application by typing your answers directly into the online form, uploading your creative content, and clicking submit.
- The best applications generally have the input from several members of your school’s literacy team.
- Deadline for submissions is February 8, 2019 at 11:59PM (EST).
SECTION A: Demographic Criteria
We use this section to determine the need for funding at your school. This is an opportunity to provide us with demographic information about your school’s community and demonstrate why your school is a high-needs elementary school.
- This year, information from the 2016 census will automatically populate in the demographic section of the grant application based on your school’s postal code. If you do not feel that this information is an accurate reflection of your student population, please indicate the accurate information in the designated field(s).
- Provide references for all the statistics and data provided in this section. Consider consulting your ministry or school board, the Early or Middle Years Development Instrument, local health & social surveys or indices, or student information forms to obtain this supporting demographic information.
SECTION B: Library Status
This section gives us an idea of the resources your school currently commits to both the school library and classroom libraries.
- You will likely need to consult library and office records to fill out this section of the application.
SECTION C: Existing Literacy Programs
This is an opportunity to show us what your school is already doing to foster literacy. In this section, you can showcase the principal and staff’s commitment to literacy as well as what is being done to make reading a priority for the staff and students.
- Be detailed but concise and structure your answer so our judges are able to easily and accurately assess the merits of each program.
- You must clearly describe the challenges each program is intended to address and what is being done to overcome those challenges.
- Do not only give anecdotal evidence (“more students are signing out books from the library”) but provide quantitative metrics as well (“library circulation increased by 30% from 500 to 650 since the program was implemented two years ago”).
- Consider providing examples of how the principal and staff prioritize literacy in programming as well as their involvement with the school curriculum and community to develop and strengthen literacy at your school.
- You must provide at least one example of the principal taking a leading role and at least one example of the staff’s leadership and dedication to literacy at your school.
- Clearly describe each initiative and the successes achieved to date.
- Where possible, provide evidence that these leadership roles had a positive effect on morale, teacher participation in school and/or literacy initiatives, student literacy scores, etc. Again, please provide information about assessment methods for success, focusing on quantitative information in addition to any anecdotal evidence.
SECTION D: Proposed Literacy Programs
- What we’re looking for in this section is that you demonstrate that you have a plan in place to effectively allocate the funding in the event that your school is selected as a grant recipient.
- You must provide a project description and the challenges being addressed, along with a detailed timeline for implementation and a budget with a detailed breakdown of expenses.
- The budget should be based on your school’s wish list rather than how much you think might be awarded to your school. Grant amounts fluctuate from school to school and year to year, so we are not able to provide you with details as to what the grant amount would be for your school.
- Include an evaluation plan for each project and describe the assessment strategies that you will have in place to measure success.
- You must provide a transition plan that you would implement to introduce new staff members to the Literacy Fund grant. Consider ways to familiarize new staff with the parameters of the grant, your budget, spending timeline, purchase lists as well as key contacts at Indigo. Please note that the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation will give all grant recipient schools a Welcome Package with key contact information, an FAQ guide, and spending guidelines. Remember that the grant funding is provided in three installments over the course of three years. 90% of the grant is given in the form of an Indigo Corporate Account and 10% of the grant is given in the form of a cheque.
SECTION E: Grant Tracking
- There are no marks associated with this section of the application. However, we rely on this data to help report on the impact of the grant over several years using the data provided here as a baseline.
- The Foundation uses the schools’ results to demonstrate the positive impact of funding to governments.
SECTION F: Creative Content
- This project is an opportunity to share your school’s story in your own words.
- There are two options for this mandatory creative project:
- A video that captures the values of your school and its commitment to literacy. As a suggestion, it can include interviews with members of your community; such as teachers, librarians, parents, and students (a maximum length of 5 minutes); OR
- Letters from teachers, librarians and students that share the impact of the library (a maximum of five letters). These letters should give us an impression of what life is like at your school, why your school library needs additional funding, and how you would effectively use additional funds to improve literacy among your students.
- We recommend that you begin your creative project in tandem with your online application.
- Creative content that is mailed to the Foundation will not be reviewed.
- Please do not upload extra materials. Only provide the number of photos, letters or video time allocated in the instructions. Any additional creative content will not be considered.
- If your creative content is too large to upload to the grant application portal, consider uploading your content to an online file storage service (such as Google Drive), pasting the link to that file in a Word document, and then uploading that document to the application portal.
- If you elect to use an online file storeage service, we cannot take responsibilty for ensuring that such a service keeps your information private.
The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation respects your privacy. We will only contact you in the future if we have questions regarding your application or an update on the status of your application.
To receive updates from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, including information about future opportunities to apply for the Literacy Fund grant and our Indigo Adopt a School program, please answer “yes” our application homepage to the following question: “I want to receive the latest news and information from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.”