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Grants Update

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education: Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Competition
This program hopes to improve student reading skills and academic achievement by providing students with access to up-to-date school library materials, advanced school library media centers, and professionally certified school library media specialists.

Funds for Youth Literacy Programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico
WHO Foundation: Education/Literacy Grant Program
The WHO Foundation: Women Helping Others supports grassroots nonprofit organizations serving the overlooked needs of women and children in the United States and Puerto Rico. The Foundation’s Education/Literacy Grant Program provides support for free after-school programs and other education or literacy programs for low-income children of all ages. Organizations must have been incorporated for a minimum of three years prior to applying. Preference will be given to organizations with an operating budget of $3 million or less, those not dependent upon government grants, and those with greater organizational program costs than personnel costs. The application deadline is March 17, 2009. Visit the Who Foundation website listed above to download a copy of the application form.

Grants Assist Native Youth Programs
First Nations Development Institute: Native Youth and Culture Fund
The mission of First Nations Development Institute is to help Indigenous peoples to control their assets and build the capacity to direct their economic futures in ways that fit their cultures. First Nation’s Native Youth and Culture Fund supports projects that incorporate culture and tradition to address social issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, mental health, etc. Funded projects should focus on one or more of the following priority areas: preserving cultural and/or spiritual practices, beliefs, and values; engaging both youth and elders in activities that demonstrate methods for documenting traditional knowledge, practices, and/or beliefs; increasing youth’s capacity to lead through integrated educational or mentoring programs; and increasing access to cultural customs and beliefs through the use of appropriate technologies as a means of preserving tribal language, arts, history, or other culturally relevant topics. Instructions for developing letters of interest, which are due February 27, 2009, are available on the First Nations website.

Do Something Awards Exceptional Youth

Do Something is accepting applications for the annual Do Something Awards.

Awards Recognize Neighborhood Improvement Programs
Bank of America: Neighborhood Excellence Initiative
The Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, Bank of America’s signature philanthropic program, recognizes nonprofit organizations and individuals working to improve their communities. The focus is on areas such as education, community development and/or neighborhood preservation, arts and culture, and health and human services. The Initiative’s Neighborhood Builders category provides grants of $200,000 each to two nonprofit organizations working to promote vibrant neighborhoods in each of the Bank’s 45 markets. The Local Heroes category provides grants of $5,000 each to nonprofit organizations selected by each of five recognized individuals in the targeted markets. Applications and nominations must be submitted online by June 30, 2009; early submission is encouraged. Guidelines for both categories are available on the Bank of America website listed above.

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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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