What Makes a Great Mini-Grant Program?
An EJK Mini-Grant program is a creative and innovative activity … that takes place in class or out in the community … provides an enriched experience … and is funded solely by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. It is an opportunity for a public school teacher or librarian to present a special project outside the standard curriculum or an engaging way to help students meet curricular goals. And every year sees an amazing variety of projects that foster creative expression, cooperation and community.
An innovative program can:
Successful programs have included a public story walk … a multicultural portrait project … a school garden … bookmaking … puppetry … and intergenerational storytelling.
See more examples in our Great Mini-Grant Programs gallery. Please use these as a starting point: We encourage new ideas.
Mini-Grant programs give teachers and librarians a unified, flexible way to meet Common Core goals—and offer students a fun experience, a sense of achievement and a source of pride. And when a program can be repeated in succeeding years, its benefits grow exponentially. That’s quite a feather in the cap for the school, the library and the educator who developed the program.
A Mini-Grant is an award of up to $500 that the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation gives to eligible organizations to provide creative, innovative programs that support or extend the Common Core Standards in education. Programs may serve children from preschool to grade 12.
Public schools, public libraries and public preschool programs such as Head Start are eligible for EJK Mini-Grants. Organizations that charge tuition or fees, such as private and parochial schools, should not apply. Charter schools are also not eligible (see 4.).
No. We fund organizations and programs within the United States and U.S. commonwealths and territories, including Puerto Rico and Guam.
Simply put, the Foundation cannot fund any school that does not meet these Criteria for School Eligibility.
The application form is on our website. Read the instructions on the page titled How to Apply for a Mini-Grant, then click on the link to the application. To access a blank form, you must first create an account. Your data will be saved automatically, and you can stop and return to the form later.
All completed applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 31 of each year. Those received as of 12 a.m. on April 1 will not be considered.
You will be notified of the Foundation’s decision on or about May 1. Emails will be sent to everyone who applied, and award checks will be sent a few weeks later. Make sure you have access to the email address on your application. Notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not heard from us by June 1.
These are some but not all of the reasons an application would be denied:
The purchase of books and equipment is considered if they will be used as part of an innovative program that makes the most of the time spent by the participants. Used for other purposes, those materials become general operating costs and are ineligible for funding.
To be approved, a proposed program must provide an enriched learning experience either supporting or extending the basic curriculum. It must cost no more than $500 and be supported solely by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. It must be offered free of charge and cannot buy or produce merchandise for sale. Here are some examples of approved projects:
See a sampling of past successes in our gallery of Great Mini-Grant Programs.
The Final Report is due by June 1, at the end of the academic year in which your Mini-Grant program took place.
The report must include:
Please include any of these that apply:
We accept these digital formats:
That’s June of the following year! Mini-Grants are awarded in May to fund programs that will take place during the summer or the next school year. The Final Report is due by June 1 of the school year your program was held—one year after you received your check.
We reserve the right to display materials contained in Final Reports on our website and social media with full credit given. Outstanding Final Reports may also be sent to the Keats Archive, part of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi, where they will be available to scholars studying Keats and his legacy.
Each organization will be signed up to receive the email newsletter of the EJK Foundation. We do not, under any circumstances, share or sell our email lists.
Upon submission, you will receive a copy of your application to download, print and save. Keep a hard copy as well as a computer file of the application—it is your responsibility not to lose it. To replace a lost or expired check, we will deduct $25 to cover any fees.