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Ready to Read Grant
Learn about the Ready to Read grant program
 
What is the Ready to Read grant program?
The Ready to Read grant program is how state funding is distributed to legally established public libraries in Oregon. The purpose of the grant is for 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. Research shows that early learning and summer enrichment activities have a significant impact on the achievement gap. Library early literacy services and summer reading activities support the state of Oregon’s education priorities and initiatives.

 

Who is eligible to apply?
Legally established public libraries as defined by Oregon Revised Statutes 357.400 – 357.430.
 
How much money can libraries apply for?
The State Library uses a formula based on Oregon Revised Statute 357.780 and Oregon Administrative Rules 543-040-0020 and 543-040-0023 to calculate how much each library may apply for every year. Libraries apply for the exact amount calculated by the State Library, no more or less. The funding formula is weighted, 80% on population and 20% on square miles, to address geographically underserved communities in Oregon. There is a minimum grant of $1,000 for libraries in the smallest communities. The grant amount changes every year based on the state general fund allocation, changes in the number of people each library serves, and changes in the square miles of library service areas.
 
What is the grant cycle?
Applications are due August 31 every year
Award notifications go out in October every year
Grant funds distributed by December 31 every year
Libraries may spend grant funds starting on January 1 through December 31
Reports on grant-funded activities are due December 1 every year
 
How do libraries use grant funds?
Read the following documents to learn about the grant-funded projects libraries implemented the last five years.
What’s the history of the grant?
In 1993, the Oregon Legislature created the Ready to Read grant program. Oregon Revised Statutes 357.740 - 357.780 required the State library to distribute state general funds to legally established public libraries to establish, develop, or improve public library services to youth ages 0-14 and report how they spent the money.
 
In 2006, the law was revised to focus the Ready to Read grant specifically on early literacy services for young children ages 0-6 and the statewide summer reading program for youth ages 0-14. These changes were based on research that shows the experiences youth have before they start school and later during summer vacation has the greatest impact on the achievement gap.

 

 
Apply for a Ready to Read grant
Legally established public libraries automatically receive a hardcopy Ready to Read grant application via regular mail and a digital copy via email from the State Library the first week of July every year. Applications are due August 31 every year. Applications that are not date-stamped August 31 or earlier will be denied.
 
Libraries are notified that their application has been accepted or denied during October every year. Information about the appeals processes is included in that notification. The State Library Board hears appeals and awards grants at their December meeting every year. Grant funds are distributed by December 31 every year.
 
Grant application materials:
Send complete applications to Ferol Weyand via:
  • Fax: 503-378-6439, or
  • Regular mail: Oregon State Library, Attn: Ready to Read, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97031
 
Evaluate Ready to Read grant activities
Libraries participating in the Ready to Read grant program must use outcome base evaluation to determine the impact of grant-funded activities on youth and adults. All libraries will be implementing grant-funded activities in an effort to achieve the same desired outcomes.  Libraries may use interviews, observations, and/or surveys to evaluate their grant-funded activities. Evaluation results are reported to the State Library December 1 every year.
 
Evaluation resources:
 Desired outcomes:
  • Young children develop the six early literacy skills by the time they start kindergarten. (Early literacy projects)
  • Adults enjoy reading, singing, talking, writing, and playing with their young children regularly to help them develop early literacy skills. (Early literacy projects)
  • Youth maintain or improve their literacy skills over the summer. (Summer reading projects)
  • Youth demonstrate their love of reading and learning by choosing to engage in these activities during their free time. (Summer reading projects)
  • Adults enjoy spending time engaging in literacy activities with youth regularly to help them develop literacy skills. (Summer reading projects)
 
 
Report on Ready to Read grant activities

Libraries participating in the Ready to Read grant program must report on the impact of grant-funded activities on youth and adults by December 1 every year.

Report materials:

 
 
Results of the Ready to Read grant program
Libraries participating in the Ready to Read grant program submit reports on grant-funded activity December 1 every year. Those reports are compiled into the annual report by State Library staff. The latest annual report is available the first day of the Oregon Legislature convenes in January or February every year.
 
Annual reports:
Every year, State Library staff selects four-six grant-funded projects to be honored with an Outstanding Ready to Read Project Award. State Library staff or State Library Board members present the awards to honored libraries at a city council, county commissioners, or library board meeting or special event.
 
Award recipients:
In 2007, the Oregon State Library identified three public library youth services best practices based on findings from the 2006 Statewide Early Literacy Initiative. The three best practices are: summer reading, outreach to underserved youth, and early literacy training for caregivers. The first annual Best Practice Libraries report was published in 2011 to acknowledge libraries that provide all three best practices. Libraries frequently change their programming to reflect community needs and library resources such as staffing and funding.  Therefore the Best Practice Libraries report will be published annually in conjunction with the Annual Report. Many, but not all libraries use grant-funds to support one or more best practice.
 
Best practice libraries:

 

 
Contact us for assistance
Please contact Katie Anderson (katie.anderson@state.or.us) or 503-378-2528 if you have any questions, need assistance with the grant application or reporting process, or need access to annual reports from previous years.