Vermont literacy grant applications now being accepted

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WATERBURY — The Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF) is offering a Community Building grant to organizations — including elementary school classrooms, after-school programs, clubs, and non-profits — that serve low-income, at-risk, and rural kids in Vermont and New Hampshire.

The grant is intended to help build connections between children and other members of their communities through reading and writing. Applications may be found at www.clifonline.org under Literacy Programs. Applications are due Oct. 15.

Applicants may choose to apply for the grant to start a Reading Buddies with Seniors program in which children and local senior citizens read together, launch a "1,000 Books Before Kindergarten" initiative for young children (see 1000booksbeforekindergarten.org for more information), or a new My Community Story initiative offered by Vermont's Young Writers Project. Applicants awarded grants to launch either Reading Buddies with Seniors or 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten programs will receive an on-site children's library (valued at $500) for their classroom, club, or organization; a training session with one of CLiF's professional author/illustrators or storytellers; and a book giveaway in which all program participants choose two new books to keep.

Applicants awarded grants to launch the Young Writers' Project's new My Community Story digital platform (a $250 value) will receive access to their own digital website for students to privately share their writing, prompts and resources for storytelling, research, digital media and editing; a writing workshop with one of CLiF's professional authors; and funding (up to $150) for a community celebration for children to share their writing with family members and friends.

The goals of this grant are to build empathy for others by connecting with new groups, create excitement around books and writing, inspire children and adults to read and write for pleasure, and support young readers and writers. In Spring 2017, CLiF's Community Building grant funded six programs, including Senior Reading buddies partnerships at Belmont Elementary School in Belmont, N.H.; J.J. Flynn Elementary School in Burlington; Great Bay Kids' Company in Exeter, N.H.; and Morristown Elementary School in Morrisville; as well as an Animal Shelter Reading Buddies program at Albany Community School in Albany and a 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Initiative event at Bennington Free Library in Bennington.

"CLiF is excited to continue this grant for a second year," CLiF Program Director Meredith Scott said. "We hope that with this year's choices — Reading with Seniors, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, and My Community Story in partnership with the Young Writers Project — we can help more kids make connections with people and places in their community. In our crazy and ever-changing world, it is a gift for kids to develop a sense of place and to find an outlet through reading and writing."

Any questions about this grant can be directed to Meredith Scott at meredith@clifonline.org. For more information about CLiF, visit www.clifonline.org.

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