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Oregon Ready to Read Grants

Help for applying and managing Ready to Read grant funds through the State Library of Oregon.

Welcome

The 2021 Application

2021 Ready to Read Applications are open from July 1st to August 31st every year.

The Ready to Read application and reporting process is the way the State Library understands how Oregon libraries utilize their Ready to Read grant funds to support early literacy and summer reading programs in communities across our state. Just like any library service or program, the application and reporting process is also a work in progress. We appreciate any feedback you may have about the grant application experience to help us better support libraries in serving youth across Oregon. Please feel free to share your questions, comments, or ideas at readytoread.grant@state.or.us

This guide follows the basic outline of the 2021 Ready to Read Application as it appears in the online grant system. There are two sections in the application not required for libraries that receive less than $5000, or for libraries who are not cooperatives or districts. Instructions for those sections are located at the very end of this guide

Online Grant Application

The Online System for 2021 Ready to Read Application


If your library applied online for a 2020 Ready to Read grant, your library has an account here: State Library of Oregon Online Grants.

If you don't remember your password, please enter your e-mail address and click the "forgot password" link at the bottom of the website. You'll get e-mailed directions for changing your password.

Once you are logged in, you can see your Applicant Dashboard, with your contact information on the left and your library information on the right. At the top of this page, click "Apply." The 2021 Ready to Read application will come up and you can again click "Apply" on the right. This will take you to the application. You can log in and out of your application anytime before August 31st, you do not have to complete it in one sitting.

If you are a newly established library and need to create an online account (for 2021, this should just be for Winston Public Library), here are directions for creating your account. Click the above link and select "Create New Account." You can now create an organizational profile for your library, with details like name and address.

In the organizational profile:

  • There is one weird field – a DUNS number – because some non-profits apply for LSTA grants, but you don’t need to worry about this field. Skip it!
  • If you are not your library’s director, there will be space here for you to add your director’s name and e-mail, so on our end we can see both of you attached to your library.
  • Once your profile is set up, you can start your application by clicking "Apply" in the top left. Once the application loads, you'll be able to work on it at your pace, logging in and out as you wish.

 

Staff Information

Staff Information

The Grant Coordinator is the person at your library who completes this application and reporting process. We know library staffing models vary widely. If there is another staff member who will be helping to implement your project, please let us know in the Additional Staff Member box.

If the Grant Coordinator is completing this application, reporting, and will also be the primary person implementing the Ready to Read grant, please say “Same” in the box for Additional Staff Member.

 

Project Information and Outcomes

Outcomes

Ready to Read grants are intended to support libraries to establish, develop, and improve early literacy services for children 0-6 years old and the statewide summer reading program for youth 0-14 years old. Because of this intent, projects are intended to meet specific outcomes. Your library is likely already working on these outcomes and similar ones all the time!

Some libraries work towards one outcome, some libraries work towards several. Please let us know here which outcomes your project works toward by selecting the outcomes your project will address.  

Early Literacy Outcome #1: Young children develop the 6 early literacy skills by the time they start kindergarten.

Early Literacy Outcome #2: Adults enjoy reading, singing, talking, writing, and playing with their young children regularly to help them develop early literacy skills.

Summer Reading Outcome #1: Youth maintain or improve their literacy skills over the summer.

Summer Reading Outcome #2: Youth demonstrate their love of reading and learning by choosing to engage in these activities during their free time over the summer.

Summer Reading Outcome #3: Adults enjoy spending time engaging in early literacy activities with youth over the summer to help them develop literacy skills.

 

Activities

Activities               

Here is where you will tell us all about the activities that will help you meet the outcomes you picked. For each activity, please include a description and anticipated outputs – tangibles that resulted from the activity, such as creation of a training module or report, number of programs you will hold, number of items you will loan, etc. See the examples below for specific ideas.

Please make sure if you selected both early literacy and summer reading outcomes above, that you describe both early literacy and summer reading activities in this section.

If you have any questions about describing your project, please get in touch!

Early Literacy Activity Examples:

Example 1: To meet our outcome of building early literacy skills, our Youth Services Librarian will hold outreach storytime sessions at our 3 local Head Start classrooms. We will do these storytimes 2 times a month for 9 months. There are approximately 20 students in each Head Start class, so we anticipate over the course of the year 60 students will each experience 18 storytimes supporting their early literacy skills.  Because we know modeling is important, we will invite Head Start classes with their families to an October storytime pizza night at the library, where we will have dinner together and a special storytime modeling the storytime activities we do on our outreach visits. We will repeat this pizza night in April. We’ve budgeted $400 for two pizza nights, and $600 for outreach storytime supplies, including mileage to and from our library to Head Start locations.

Example 2: To meet our outcome of building early literacy skills, we will purchase four new shelving units at a maximum height of 3” tall for our picture book collection in order to better support accessibility for our youngest patrons. We will assess our picture book circulation rates from the 3 months prior to the new shelves and the 3 months after installation. We’ve budgeted $250 per shelving unit.

 

Summer Reading Activity Examples:

Example 1: To meet our outcome of adults spending time engaging in literacy skills activities with youth, we will offer summer reading programming for community members of all ages. Our weekly programs will include opportunities for adults to interact with their children.  We anticipate 50 families attend each week, with approximately 50 adults and 100 children, for a total of 8 programs every Wednesday this summer.  We will contract with 4 performers for 4 weekly programs, for a total of $1,600. We will plan and staff the other 4 STEM exploration programs with library staff and volunteers. We’ve budgeted $2000 for supplies for these staff led programs. To make sure our programs include opportunities for adults to interact with their children, we will include space to describe interaction opportunities on our staff planning templates.

Example 2: To meet our outcome of youth maintaining or improving literacy over the summer, we will give away one book to every participant in our summer reading program. We anticipate 7,000 youth participating and will purchase 7,500 titles. Because we know that reading 10 hours over the summer months maintains literacy levels, we will track how many participants read for 10 hours total over the course of the summer.

Outcome Evaluation

Outcome Evaluation

How will you know if this project met your outcomes and had community impact? For each outcome you are working toward, please list the ways you will measure your progress. One approach to thinking about outcomes is to think about your intent versus your impact. You may intend to help build literacy skills in ready for kindergarten classes, but how do you know your work actually made an impact on your participants and they did build literacy skills? .

Typical ways outcomes are measured include surveys, observations, focus groups and/or interviews. The examples below show that there is more than one way to measure a specific outcome. We are happy to help think through what would work best for your library.

If your project addresses both Early Literacy and Summer Reading outcomes, please first describe your Early Literacy outcome measurement. Then describe your Summer Reading outcome measurement.

For Early Literacy outcomes, especially around storytimes, check out Data Can Help You Tell Your Storytime Success. The webinar slides may also be useful.

For Summer Reading outcomes, the slides from this archived Project Outcome Webinar: Build a Better Summer Reading program may be useful for you. You can also check out the most recent Project Outcome Webinar on Summer Reading surveys.

 
Outcome Measurement Examples:

Summer Reading

Example 1: Our outcome is Summer Reading #1. We will have 10 hour tracking forms available at summer reading signups that participants can turn in when they’ve read 10 hours to join our prize raffle. We will track how many 10 hour tracking forms we’ve received to assess how many youth maintained their reading levels through our project.

Example 2: Our outcome is Summer Reading #1. We will use the Project Outcome Summer Reading Surveys for Caregivers and for Children/Teens as tool to evaluate our Summer Reading program. We will have paper surveys available at/after each program, and we will have them available online as well. As surveys are collected, we will have one assigned staff member enter paper survey responses into our Google docs tracking spreadsheet as time allows through the end of August. In September 2020 we will compile the paper survey data with the online survey data. We will use this data to inform our Summer Reading planning for 2021 in the fall of 2020 through two meetings with staff to analyze the data together.

Partners

Partners

Ready to Read projects are intended to be used in partnership with your community. A partner is a library or non-library entity that will contribute significant and specific deliverables to the project. This is different from a participant, which is an entity that will simply benefit from the project. We recognize your plans for 2021 partnerships may be impacted by the public health emergency. Share what you know at this time. If your work changes over the next year, you'll be able to share about that in the reporting process.

Typical partners libraries work with include but are not limited to: Schools and school districts, Early Learning Hubs, STEM Hubs, City or County parks, afterschool programs, Childcare Providers and Educators, Community Recreation Centers, Community Festivals, Farmer's Markets, Museums, Summer Food Sites, local businesses, local non-profits, other libraries, and many other local governmental or non-governmental organizations. If your library is working with any of these to help implement your project, they count as a partner.

We've highlighted a couple partnership examples from 2018 Ready to Read projects you can see below, but the way your library approaches partnerships may look very different based on your library staffing and community needs. That is okay!

A great webinar focusing on partnerships is Taking Community Partnerships to the Next Level. You can see the slides here.

Underserved Communities

Outreach to Underserved Communities

Ready to Read projects are intended to support libraries in engaging underserved families, including community members who may not be current library users. The question on the application is "How does your project engage underserved youth and families in your communities?"

If you are interested in the research behind engaging underserved communities, take a look at It Takes a Community To Create a Library. The Community Led Libraries Toolkit may also be useful as a starting point for strategies for this type of library work.

For specific county by county data across Oregon that may be helpful as you work towards engaging underserved families, the 2019 Oregon By the Numbers is available here as a PDF.

Every community is different and has different needs. We've highlighted a couple outreach examples from 2018 Ready to Read projects you can see below, but the way your library approaches outreach may look very different based on your library staffing and community needs. That is okay!

Budget

Budget

We are currently in an unprecedented public health emergency and our agency budget will be impacted. We are not able to confirm final grant amounts at this time because we will not receive final budget confirmation until after this application opens.

For the purposes of this application:

  • If your library received the minimum $1000 grant last year, please assume that amount will be the same and plan for $1000.
  • If your library received an amount over $1000 last year, please plan for 2021 funding to be approximately 80% of that amount.

We have posted the 2020 Grant amounts here, as well as a draft 2021 document. As soon as final amounts are confirmed for all libraries, we will communicate via e-mail and we will post final amounts here.

The budget worksheet is a fillable PDF. It will automatically calculate totals for you and covers all the ways Ready to Read grant funds could be used to support your project. If you wish to spend money on a category or item and you do not see a description for that item in this worksheet, please check with readytoread.grant@state.or.us before you submit your budget.

Promoting your project

Your project is AMAZING! 

Make your community aware of this work! 

Promoting this work can take many forms, and we realize not every project will find utility in all of these avenues; however, some mechanisms for promoting your project to a general audience can include:

  • social media
  • media releases
  • email marketing to your patrons and/or interested parties
  • in-library signage, posters, flyers, handouts
  • local radio and television features (let your local stations know how awesome your project is!)

 

Go the extra mile

 

You are welcome to include State Library of Oregon branding in your promotional materials. Below is one version of the logo, but if you need more to work with please get in touch.

Submission

Submission


If you need to get approval before you submit your application, you can download your application before your click Submit.  Head to your Application. You can see your library information at the top of the screen before the application tabs start. There are two buttons on the right hand side, one says “Application Packet” and one says “Question List.” Click “Application Packet” to get a draft of your application that you can show your city manager, county, board, etc if you need to get an approval before you click submit.

Once you're ready to submit, please make sure you click the "Submit" button on the bottom left. Otherwise we will be able to see your application but we will think you are still working on it!

Letters of Support for Libraries Recieving Amounts of $5,000 or more

Letter of Support for libraries receiving more than $5000


For libraries with grant amounts over $5000, a letter of support from an individual or group directly involved in your project is required to demonstrate your library's community impact. It is a best practice for grant applications to include a letter of support. Your letter of support could be from a project participant, a partner organization, or from other key community stakeholders who support your project.

It is often easier for people to support your grant request if they know specifically what you need. You may consider providing them with a brief description of what you are asking for and why.

A letter of support example is available below. Please note that this is not a sample of a participant letter. A participant letter may look quite different if written by a young participant in your project. This is an example only, and we recognize your letter may look quite different. We are happy to accept a letter of support that makes the most sense for your community and project.

We recognize the current public health emergency presents unique challenges and partners you normally work with may not be available at this time. Please let us know by August 1st if this requirement is a barrier for your application.

If you have any questions about this requirement, please check with us at readytoread.grant@state.or.us. 

For Cooperative and District Libraries Reallocating Grant Funds

For Libraries Redistributing Grant Funds to Libraries within their districts


This application section is to better understand how cooperatives and districts allocate Ready to Read grant funds and only applies to the following entities: 

  • Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Services
  • Coos County Library Service District
  • Lincoln County Library District
  • Wasco County Library Service District
  • Washington County Cooperative Library Services

If you are a library located within these districts, you do not need to complete this section, your district/cooperative headquarters will complete this section of the application.

If you are a library redistributing grant funds and have questions, please reach out to us at readytoread.grant@state.or.us