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Classroom Library Grants

Aims and Eligibility

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.

How to Apply:

Email Submission Format

Submit the application by email from your school email address.

  1. Address the email to sigmatdapply@niu.edu;
  2. In the subject line, type CLASSROOM LIBRARY GRANTS

Documents

ATTACH the following three (3) items as Word documents (doc or docx) or in PDF, titled with your initials and then each of the bolded headings: Examples: FMLnarrative.docx; FMLsponsor.docx; FMLlist.docx

  1. Applicant Information and Narrative, File name: [initials]narrative.docx
    1. List the following first, preceding the narrative:
      • Your name
      • The Sigma Tau Delta chapter where you were inducted, including the semester and year of induction
      • Your degree, and date of graduation
      • The school and district where you teach
      • The grade level and subjects you teach (if a high school, include whether your school has an NEHS chapter or not)
      • Your number of years as a teacher
      • Contact information (work and home mail and email addresses, phone number).
    2. Provide a written narrative, not to exceed 500 words, including:
      • Information about the school where you teach and the local area, including the percentage of students at your school on the free and reduced lunch program;
      • The level of access your students have to a school library (hours, number of books available that can be checked out per student over what period, or other relevant information regarding access);
      • The proximity of the nearest public library and information about its holdings, policies, and hours that might affect student access;
      • Information about the local culture that may affect the kind of books students have access to in the home or through school and public libraries;
      • an explanation of how you envision a classroom library supporting your students' efforts toward literacy and a love of literature, language, and writing; and
      • if your classroom library has shared access with other teachers, please explain how it works.
  2. Letter of support from a supervisor at your school (your principal, vice principal, department chair, or a senior colleague). File name: [initials]sponsor.docx.
    The letter should:
    1. confirm your number of years in the classroom;
    2. confirm demographic and geographic information about the school;
    3. endorse your plans for using the library grant funds; and
    4. include the letter writer's mailing address, email address, and phone number.
  3. Your wishlist. File name: [initials]list.docx
    Submit a list of 20-30 titles you plan to purchase with the funds. You may reference this list in your narrative if you want to explain the rationale for including certain titles.

Criteria For Selection

In choosing recipients, the Classroom Library Grant Committee will consider criteria such as the following:

  • 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.

Deadline and Dates

The priority deadline for applications is June 15, 2016. Awards will be made by July 15, with funds available immediately. If applications are received after the priority deadline, they will be considered if there are still funds available.

Past Recipients

View: Past Recipients