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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

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

This guide follows the basic outline of the 2022 Ready to Read Application as it appears online.* You can download an application here if you'd like, but you will need to complete the application online to be considered for funding.

*Please note that this application version includes all possible questions. In the online version you will be asked questions based on the answers you give to certain questions. For example, if you select that you are working towards the first early literacy outcome, you will only see questions about that outcome. You will not see questions for any other outcome.

Virtual Office Hours with Greta

Greta will hold virtual office hours for any and all Ready to Read questions on the following days:

  • Wednesday, July 7th, 1-2pm
  • Monday, July 19th, 9-10am
  • Wednesday, August 4th, 9-10am
  • Monday, August 16th, 1-2pm

Meeting login information will be e-mailed to the Ready to Read listserv ahead of these meetings. It is also available on the mailed cover letter your library should receive the first week of July.

Please don't hesitate to call or e-mail if you have any questions about the application or Ready to Read process. Please keep in mind the volume of assistance requests is quite high the last two weeks of August. Consider reaching out prior to August 17th for a timely response.

Online Grant Application

Every library applying for a grant in 2022 has a public library 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.
  • If you are a new staff member assigned to this grant, please do not create a new account. Please get in touch with us and let us know. We will add you to the account your library already has. You can e-mail library.support@slo.oregon.gov, or call 971-375-3549.

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 2022 Ready to Read application will come up and you can again click "Apply" on the right.

You can log in and out of your application anytime before August 31st, you do not have to complete it in one sitting.

Staff Information

As the staff member completing this application, you are the grant coordinator. You have the option of inviting other library staff members to collaborate with you on the application. If you choose to do this, we'll ask for their contact information.

Project Information and 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!

Let us know here which outcomes your project works toward by selecting the outcomes your project will address.  You are only required to work towards one outcome. If you choose to work towards multiple outcomes, you will need to provide information for every outcome you select.

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.

 

Early Literacy Activities and Spending

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.

Activities: List and briefly describe the activities you will undertake towards this outcome. Include partners and their activities here.

This is where you will share about what you and your partners intend to do together to meet your outcome. Ready to Read projects are intended to be used in partnership with your community. 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. The way your library approaches partnerships may not look like the library next door, based on your library staffing and community needs. Work in partnership in the way that makes sense for your community and local needs.

Spending: Describe what you plan to purchase with grant funds related to this outcome. Include how the costs relate to the activities described above.

This is where you will share about what you will purchase to implement the activities you discuss.

Early Literacy Impact

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.

Impact: What impact are you hoping to see? In other words, describe how your community will be better off because of the work you plan to accomplish. How will the activities listed above impact underserved youth and families in your community?

This question is about how you know if you meet your intended impact. You may intend to help build literacy skills in a family Ready for Kindergarten class, but how do you know your work actually makes an impact on your participants and they do build literacy skills?             

Common ways to measure your work include surveys, observations, focus groups and/or interviews. There is more than one way to measure a specific outcome, and a lot of flexibility to fit into your staffing and time constraints. Data Can Help You Tell Your Storytime Success may be helpful as you think about your early literacy project. 

Additionally, Ready to Read projects are intended to support libraries in engaging underserved families, including community members who may not be current library users.The Community-Led Libraries Toolkit may be useful as a starting point for strategies for this type of library work.

Every community is different and has different needs. The way your library approaches this work may look different from the library next door based on your library’s staffing and community needs. Do what works best for your community and local needs. For specific county by county data across Oregon that may be helpful, Oregon By the Numbers is available here.

Summer Reading Activities and Spending

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: List and briefly describe the activities you will undertake towards this outcome. Include partners and their activities here.

This is where you will share about what you and your partners intend to do together to meet your outcome. Ready to Read projects are intended to be used in partnership with your community. 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.

The way your library approaches partnerships may not look like the library next door, based on your library staffing and community needs. Work in partnership in the way that makes sense for your community and local needs.

Spending: Describe what you plan to purchase with grant funds related to this outcome. Include how the costs relate to the activities described above.

This is where you will share about what you will purchase to implement the activities you discuss. Please note that if you are using Ready to Read funds for any Summer Reading outcome, your library must use the 2022 statewide summer reading program. 2022's theme is Read Beyond the Beaten Path.

Summer Reading Impact

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.

Impact: What impact are you hoping to see? In other words, describe how your community will be better off because of the work you plan to accomplish. How will the activities listed above impact underserved youth and families in your community?

This question is about how you know if you meet your intended impact. You may intend to help youth maintain literacy levels over the summer, but how do you know your work actually makes an impact on your participants?            

Common ways to measure your work include surveys, observations, focus groups and/or interviews. There is more than one way to measure a specific outcome, and a lot of flexibility to fit into your staffing and time constraints. For Summer Reading projects, Project Outcome Webinar: Build a Better Summer Reading program may be useful. You can also check out the most recent Project Outcome Webinar on Summer Reading surveys.

Additionally, Ready to Read projects are intended to support libraries in engaging underserved families, including community members who may not be current library users.The Community-Led Libraries Toolkit may be useful as a starting point for strategies for this type of library work.

Every community is different and has different needs. The way your library approaches this work may look different from the library next door based on your library’s staffing and community needs. Do what works best for your community and local needs. For specific county by county data across Oregon that may be helpful, Oregon By the Numbers is available here.

Summer Reading Application Examples

Budget

Ready to Read grant amounts are proposed every June. They are calculated according to the number of children a library serves, and the geographic service area of the library. Final grant amounts may vary slightly if not all libraries apply for funding. Should a library not apply for funding, the portion reserved for that library's youth goes back into the larger pool and will be redistributed among all libraries in December. This typically does not drastically change grant amounts.

We do not require projects to match grant requests with cash contributions or in-kind funding. However, it is always good to include these resources in your budget, as it demonstrates that you have either found partners for your project (in the form of cash or in-kind support) or have thought deeply about the sometimes hidden costs that come with a project. We also use the in-kind and other support numbers you give us to determine how Ready to Read funds are leveraged throughout the state, as one measure of the program's effectiveness.

Below are the 2022 preliminary grant amounts and a fillable budget sheet in Excel. It will automatically calculate totals for you as you fill in your spending categories. You will need to upload a budget to your application.

You are not required to use the budget form below, you can upload your own budget from the budget software your library uses, Excel, etc, but your budget should show any in-kind and other support in relation to your project. If you use the forms below and it will not allow you to fill the budget in and save it electronically, please print and scan to upload.

If you wish to spend money on a category or item and you do not see a description for that item in the budget worksheet, please check with greta.bergquist@slo.oregon.gov before you upload your budget.

Budget Document Definitions:

Ready to Read:  The funds you are requesting through this application. Please make sure the funds in this category match the preliminary grant amount for your library.

In-Kind: The value put on materials, equipment, staff time or services that are given without charge to the program or organization. You should be able to substantiate the value assigned to the contributions and how they assist the project. For example, salary for staff hours to develop and implement a summer reading program would be considered in-kind.

Other Support: Your organization's estimated cash outlay, including money that may be contributed by other public agencies and institutions, private organizations and/or individuals. If your organization will be appropriating funds specifically for the project, then include those in “Other Support.” For example, a specific contribution from your Friends of the Library organization would be considered other support.

Supporting Documents

It is considered a best practice for grant applications to include a letter of support to demonstrate your library's community impact. Your letter of support could be from a partner organization or other key community stakeholders who support your project, such as a school district, farmer's market, Early Learning Hub, afterschool program, Chamber of Commerce, local business, etc

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. 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.

Please note that this is not the only kind of supporting document. For example, you could include a participant letter, another good way to demonstrate your project has value to your community.

Submission

Many libraries need to get various approvals when submitting things like grant applications. To get a copy of your application before you submit it, you can download your application. In your application, your library information is 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!

Promoting your project

A few ways to consider 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!)

Please include the following acknowledgment on all applicable program publicity efforts:

This (project, program, publication) is supported in whole or part by the Ready to Read Grant program administered by the State Library of Oregon.

A State Library of Oregon logo is also available below for use in your promotional materials. If the version of the logo below does not work for you, please let us know.