Sneak Peek: In this article, you will find ideas for where to get funding for your FVR library.
You probably don’t need much convincing on why building a classroom library would be useful. If you’re like me, the only thing standing in your way is that hefty price tag that comes with furnishing your own library from scratch.
I did a lot of research trying to find ways to fund my classroom library and I was able to get $7000 over two years!
My personal success came from two grants from Adopt-a-classroom for the Inclusive Classroom Grant Fund, as well as a local grant from my school district’s scholarship foundation.
I also received a class-set of a novel from Donors Choose, which is a really interesting website! Teachers can post a project or vision they need funding for, and then you wait to see if you get donors. In my case, I submitted two projects for funding. One was funded, the other wasn’t; however, it was great to procure the novel El último viaje by A.C. Quintero for my class! You win some, you lose some, but overall it’s so worth it.
There is money to be had for a good cause like yours, so don’t give up hope! I have compiled a list of different grants you can apply for to get you started in creating an awesome classroom library for your students.
Where to Apply for Grants
This is not an exhaustive or all-comprehensive list, but there is more than enough here to help you start swinging for the fences and filling up your classroom with literary gold!
Build-a-bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation
National Home Library Foundation
Dollar General Literacy Foundation
Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program
Don’t get discouraged if your first proposals are denied. I applied to so many that got denied. As I like to say, writing emails and filling out forms is free, so there really isn’t much risk involved. All you need is one or two to say yes!
Region Specific Grants
Have you looked into what is offered in your specific state or region? These are the ones I’m familiar with, but I would have to guess that your specific region would have some of its own funds and grants.
Laura Bush Foundation (Natural Disaster affected areas)
The Joyce Foundation (Great Lakes Region only)
The Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities (Catholic Schools)
The Lois Lensky Covey Foundation (Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, Sacramento, & San Francisco Bay Area)
Illinois State Library School District Library Grant Program
Local Stores & Libraries
Contact your local public libraries, bookstores, toy stores, and other businesses. They may be willing to donate or sell at a discount older or overstocked books that they carry. Better yet, create an ongoing partnership so they will regularly set aside books for your group. You can also let your school librarian know that any expired magazines or books in Spanish can be donated to your classroom!
Be sure to check if your district has a scholarship foundation or if your department has funds to spare! Appealing to your local community is a good bet because they personally know the students that will be positively impacted.
Create a Go-Fund-Me
If you know of family and friends that would like to support your classroom, you could create a Go-fund-me and share that with them. I have seen people do this for their birthday. You can share your Go-fund-me link out on your social media platforms, stating that for your birthday, you want to help your students by funding a classroom library. Or perhaps you do this around the holidays by sharing “All I want for Christmas are new books for my students.” Most people are excited to celebrate someone while also supporting a good cause!
Do you send home a newsletter or email periodically to parents? Include a link to an Amazon Wishlist for classroom books in case parents would like to donate! This could also be on your school’s supply list at the start of the year.
Are you looking for books in Spanish? The Mexican consulate has a free book donation program. Reach out to the Mexican consulate near you.
You can also check out the Comisión Nacional de Libros de Texto Gratuitos to find out more and you can even access some digital books there too!
There are other time-sensitive grants that will appear from time to time and for a limited time frame. So be sure to do a little more research checking if there are any special grant offers in your area or for a limited time.
Leave me a comment when you get funding! I’d love to know which of these work out for you. Also, are there any grants that I forgot to mention?
Need help writing your grant proposal? Check out this post!
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