Grants For Elementary Schools

elementary schoolWith all of the budget cuts in school districts across the nation it has been difficult for schools to fund many programs. That’s why grants for elementary schools are more important than ever. There are elementary school grants to meet a variety of different needs.

Grants for Elementary School Libraries

There are specific grants for elementary school libraries to purchase books for students. Some school districts rely on the local library system for their library needs. The Libri Foundation was created to provide new books for rural libraries. To date there have been over $5.25 million worth of books sent to over 3,000 libraries since the foundation was established in 1989. Local librarians can apply for yp to $1,050 in hardcover books through Friends of the Library and the Libri Foundation. School libraries that serve as a city’s library can also receive books through the program.

US Department of Education

The US Department of Education sponsors numerous elementary school grants including Ready to Learn grants that helps prepare students for elementary school. PBS KIDS Raising Readers is an example of a Ready to Learn grant program. It provides services for teachers and parents of children 2-8 to improve reading skills.

Private Grants

Digital Wish

Digital Wish matches teachers and donors for technology needs. Teachers can share their lesson plans and donors can fund a purchase. Digital Wish donates 2-10% cash-back funding to the recipient for the next classroom project.

International Reading Association (IRA)

Reading grants for elementary school are very popular. The IRA sponsors many grants. Teachers in grades K-12 who use technology successfully in their reading program can receive the International Reading Association Award for Technology and Reading. The deadline is November 15th of each year.

The IRA Regie Routman Teacher Recognition Grant is awarded to excellent elementary school classroom teachers in low-income areas.

Author Bruce Larkin sponsors 500 annual IRA & RR Reading Conference Grants to send teachers K-3 to International Reading Association or Reading Recovery conferences. Each grant is worth $200.

The Verizon Foundation

The Verizon Foundation is heavily involved in elementary school education through their various grant programs. They have a strong literacy/technology focus, partnering with programs such as

Dollar General Literacy Foundation

Dollar General Literacy Foundation Summer Reading Grants provide funding for PreK-12th grade reading programs in community libraries. The program is centered on literacy intervention strategies for struggling readers.  Applications are accepted through the end of February each year. Dollar General also sponsors the Youth Literacy Grants for classroom assistance with literacy programs and supplies. The deadline for these grants is in May.

Literacy Empowerment Foundation (LEF)

The Teachers Helping Teachers Award recognizes teachers who mentor, volunteer, and present different ways of teaching. Each week a teacher is chosen to receive $100 worth of books and a certificate of acknowledgement.

Office Depot Foundation

Office Depot Foundation Grants  are awarded to schools and libraries that make significant community change. Awards are funded in amounts of $50- $10,000.


National Book Fund (NBF) provides books for underfunded literacy programs. Over $2.6 million in materials have been donated since the inception of the program and over 35,000 have volunteered. The Charles Evans Book Fund is included in the NBF to give resources to homeless outreach programs.

The Barbara Bush Texas Fund for Family Literacy

The First Lady’s Family Literacy Initiative for Texas offers 10 competitive grants of up to $50,000 in the state of Texas. The Family Literacy Program Implementation Grants recognize organizations that provide literacy instruction for children birth through 3rd grade.

Turnwater Education Foundation’s Classroom Enrichment Program (Turnwater, WA)

This is a classroom enrichment grant for the Turnwater School District that was established in 1999. Teachers can apply for the grants to pay for materials no included in the school budget as long as a majority of the class benefits.

AASL Innovative Reading Grant

Members of the AASL can apply for a $2500 grant to fund innovative reading programs for struggling readers. Applications are accepted each year.

OfficeMax Charitable Foundation K-12 Education Grants

Applicants can apply for elementary school grants for various purposes. The grant budget is $20,000.

It’s important for teachers and community members to have access to as many grants for elementary school as possible in order to offset decreasing school district budgets. These resources can make a big difference funding school classrooms.


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