What is a Mini-Grant? It’s 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 (see more here):
  • a public story walk
  • a multicultural portrait project
  • a school garden
  • bookmaking
  • creating a puppet show
  • an intergenerational publication or activity
Please use these as a starting point: We encourage new ideas.


>> Eligibility & Guidelines

>> Important Dates & Information

>> Tips

>> Final Report

>> Apply


To review the application process with Executive Director Deborah Pope,
watch the complete video before you begin or view in sections as you go.

1. Why is there a Minigrant program? 1:18

2. Who’s eligible? :30

3. All across the country :18

4. The application :54

5. What happens to my contact information? :31

6. The guidelines 1:01

7. What else can go wrong? 2:38

8. The maximum amount 1:10

9. Why not fund books and equipment? 1:22

10. The deadline 1:14

11. The final report 2:02

12. You can create an inspiring program :59









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

ALERT: Because of severe weather across the U.S., we are extending the deadline to March 31, 2015.
March 15, 11:59 p.m.: Annual 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, plus a copy of your application to download, print and save. **If you do not receive a return email, it means that your application did not go through; please try again using a different computer and/or a different browser.**
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.


  • 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, 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, fliers and invitations
  • photographs
  • 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
If mailing your Final Report, do not request a signature on delivery.
If sending by email, make sure that the files are not oversize (too big to be scanned for viruses). If necessary, divide the content into two or more smaller files. 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 (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.

For more information, visit our FAQ – About Mini-Grants
Questions? Contact us
Ready to apply?