2020 Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant Program Call for Proposals
Up to 70 Grants Totaling $35,000 are Given Directly to Educators in Public Schools and Libraries Across the Country Every Year
NEW YORK—February 11, 2020. The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, dedicated to supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries across the country, is encouraging qualifying educators to apply for an Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant now! Applications are being accepted and the deadline for submissions is March 31, 2020.
Approximately 70 grants, up to $500 each, will be awarded to teachers and librarians in public schools and libraries whose proposals reflect an imaginative approach to experiential learning. Decisions will be emailed to all applicants in May, allowing educators to plan for the next academic year.
“Every year I’m amazed at the creative programs we’re privileged to support. It’s a joy to see how much fun educators bring to their students with EJK Mini-Grants,” says Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
Since 1987, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has provided over $1,000,000 in support of EJK Mini-Grant programs spanning the 50 states and U.S commonwealths. To learn more about EJK Mini-Grants, and to see the criteria for application, visit Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grants.
The Foundation welcomes Mini-Grant proposals focusing on any subject. Following is an example of an outstanding 2019 Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant program
An Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant made it possible for 7th and 8th graders from Simons Middle School in Flemingsburg, KY, to paint key images from their favorite book onto 24″ x 24″ inch tiles. The program, called “Creative Cougar Tiles,” (the cougar being the school’s mascot) added color and character to the library. Pictured (L), a student holds up her finished tile, which represented the classic Charlotte’s Web, At the end of the project, 25 tiles were added to the ceiling (R), which is now the the first thing students, employees and guests look at when they walk into the room, according to, Pamela McGLone,Library Media Specialist, School Librarian.
Painted Ceiling Tiles Give a Middle School Library a Facelift in Flemingsburg, KY
“We are the only middle school in the district, and a lot of meetings are held in the library, so I wanted to showcase the students’ work,” said Pamela R. McGlone, Library Media Specialist, School Librarian, Simons Middle School in Flemingsburg, KY.
So McGlone created a program called “Creative Cougar Tiles,” (the cougar being the school’s mascot). Along with art teacher, Kelly Dusing, McGlone asked 7th and 8th graders to paint key images from their favorite book onto a ceiling tile. With her Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant, she purchased the 24” x 24” ceiling tiles, acrylic paint and brushes.
Over a four-week period, the tiles were painted in art class and then added into the library ceiling with the artist’s name and an explanation of how the book inspired the tile. The painted tiles included images representing books like Charlotte’s Web, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Secret of Nightingale Wood, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, and The Outsiders.
Said McGlone: “The painted ceiling tiles, 25 in total, have transformed the library into a colorful, inviting place. The students are proud of what they’ve accomplished, and now, the first thing students, employees and guests do when they walk into the room is look at all the tiles!”
About the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation fosters children’s love of reading and creative expression by supporting arts and literacy programs in public schools and libraries through the EJK Bookmaking Competition and MIni-Grant program; and through the Ezra Jack Keats Award the foundation cultivates new writers and illustrators of exceptional picture books that reflect the experience of childhood in our diverse culture. Ezra Jack Keats is considered one of our greatest illustrators and authors of children’s literature. Keats wrote The Snowy Day, the book that broke the color barrier in children’s publishing and remains one of our country’s most popular and beloved picture books. To learn more about the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and Ezra Jack Keats, visit www.ezra-jack-keats.org.