How to Apply for a Mini-Grant


What is a Mini-Grant?

A Mini-Grant is an award of up to $500 given to public schools and libraries to implement a proposed program. Mini-Grant programs are creative and innovative…they take place inside the classroom or out in the community…they bridge disciplines and grade levels from preschool to 12th—and are funded solely by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. Here are some examples of successful past programs:

  • a public story walk
  • a multicultural portrait project
  • a school garden
  • bookmaking
  • creating a puppet show
  • an intergenerational publication or activity
  • see more examples in our gallery of Great Mini-Grant Programs

Please use these as a starting point: We encourage new ideas.

We will begin accepting applications for 2018 in Fall 2017

Instruction Highlights


  • Eligibility & Guidelines

    We accept applications from:

    • Who: public schools, public libraries, preschool and Head Start programs
    • Where: the United States and U.S. commonwealths and territories, including Puerto Rico and Guam
    • Limit: only one application per library or school
    • Not eligible: private schools, parochial schools, charter schools
    • Criteria for school eligibility


    To be considered, a proposed program:

    • supports and extends the basic curriculum by providing an experience, activity or project not otherwise offered
      Note: An EJK Mini-Grant will not pay for general operating or administrative costs, salaries or fees.
    • uses only materials that support the activities of participants, and are not intended for reuse outside the program
    • is supported solely by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
    • costs a total of $500 or less
    • will be provided free of charge and not used to produce merchandise for sale
  • Important Dates & Information
    • March 31, 11:59 p.m.: New deadline for submission
      Be sure to include an email address to which you have free access. You will receive an email confirmation that your submission went through, with a link to your application to save as a PDF or print out. If you don’t receive the confirmation, email us at with the subject line “Mini-Grants.”
    • May 1: Notification of status is emailed to all applicants
      You will hear from us whether or not your proposal has been accepted.
    • May 15 (approximate): Mini-Grant checks are mailed
      Contact us if you have not heard from us by June 1.
    • June 1 of next year: Final Reports are due
      Note: Replacements for lost or expired award checks will be issued with a $50 deduction.
  • Tips


    • Plan your program early so you can take time to improve and refine it into winning shape.
    • To figure out if your plan is feasible, break it down: How many participants, child and adult, will the program serve, and what roles will they play? It’s important that everyone has enough to do to be really involved.
    • Check with your colleagues to avoid competing applications, as only one per organization will be accepted.


    • Make sure to include only eligible items in your budget.
    • Ask volunteers to donate time, materials or services.
    • If you can’t find a way to stick to the $500 limit, you might rethink the scope of your project.

    Before you hit “Submit”:

    • Take a step back and give your program a last, objective look. Has the project evolved or expanded since you began planning? Is it improved, or is there something missing? Try not to second-guess yourself, but be thorough—it’s worth it!
  • Final Report

    The report should include a letter describing the program, activities, attendance and response; as well as digital photographs (jpg, jpeg or png files)—photos embedded in a text document are not sufficient. Plus as many of the following as possible:….

    • a brief evaluation of the program written by you, a colleague or an attending parent or caregiver
    • copies of announcements, flyers and invitations
    • photographs (jpg, jpeg or png files)
    • copies or images of what the children created in the program
    • audio or visual recordings of the program
    • newspaper clippings
    • web links regarding the program

    The report may be submitted by mail or email. If mailed, do not request a signature on delivery. Digital files of photographs and other images must be submitted, even if the images are also included with or embedded in the report.

    We accept these digital formats:

    • documents: DOC, DOCX, PDF
    • photographs: JPG, JPEG, PNG
    • video: MPG4, MPEG4, MOV

    We reserve the right to display materials contained in Final Reports on our website, social media platforms and in our press releases to all public media (with full credit given). Unusual and exemplary 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.

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