Mini-Grants — FAQ

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1. What is an EJK Mini-Grant?

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.

2. What kind of organizations are eligible to apply for an EJK Mini-Grant?

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.).

3. Do you fund institutions or programs outside the United States?

No. We fund organizations and programs within the United States and U.S. commonwealths and territories, including Puerto Rico and Guam.

4. Why don’t you fund charter schools?

Simply put, the Foundation cannot fund any school that does not meet these Criteria for School Eligibility.

5. Where can I find a Mini-Grant application form?

The application form is on our website. It must be filled out completely and submitted online. (Hard copies are not accepted.) You will receive a return email confirming the receipt of your application, plus a copy of the application to download, print and save.

6. What is the deadline for applying for an EJK Mini-Grant?

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.

7. When will I receive notification of my application status?

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 foundation@ezra-jack-keats.org if you have not heard from us by June 1.

8. What would disqualify a proposal?

These are some but not all of the reasons an application would be denied:

    • The proposal is submitted late.
    • The same proposal is submitted for multiple schools.
    • More than one proposal is submitted by an institution.
    • Answers are vague or incomplete.
    • The program requires or has funding from other sources.
    • Costs exceed $500.
    • The budget is primarily for salaries, books or equipment.
    • The budget covers operating or administrative costs.

9. Why don’t you fund the purchase of books and equipment?

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.

10. What kind of projects do you support?

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:

    • painting a mural
    • creating a story walk
    • making a quilt
    • staging a theatre production
    • publishing a book or newspaper
    • bringing together different generations or communities in a joint activity

See a sampling of past successes in our gallery of Great Mini-Grant Programs.

11. When is the Mini-Grant Final Report due, and what should it include?

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:

    • a letter describing the program in detail, activities, attendance and the response of participants.
    • a brief evaluation of the program written by you, a colleague, or an attending parent or caregiver.
    • a photo presentation of the  participating children, their activities and the final product or production.

Please include any of these that apply:

    • announcements, fliers and invitations
    • newspaper articles
    • audio or visual recordings of the program
    • web links regarding the program

12. How should the Final Report be sent?

    • The report may be mailed (do not request a signature on delivery).
    • Or emailed, as a Word document or PDF.
    • Images, photographs or video must be sent as digital files, even if also embedded in the report.

We accept these digital formats:

    • documents: doc, docx, pdf
    • photographs: jpg, jpeg, png
    • video: mpg, mpeg, mov

13. Please explain the timeline for Mini-Grants. Checks are sent in May, but Final Reports are due by the first day of June!

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.

14. What happens to the materials in the Final Report?

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.

15. What happens to the information I provided in the EJK Mini-Grant application?

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.

16. What happens if I lose my copy of the proposal or the award check, or if the check is not deposited before it expires?

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.