Develop a creative program for a class or group of students that can be implemented by a teacher or librarian on a budget of $500 or less. We encourage new ideas.
Examples of past programs:
  • a public story walk
  • a multicultural portrait project
  • a school garden
  • an art project culminating in an art show, a mural or a quilt
  • bookmaking
  • creating and performing a puppet show
  • an intergenerational publication or activity


Prep Time

Review the application process with Executive Director Deborah Pope. Watch the complete video 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

>> Important Dates & Information

>> Tips

>> Final Report

>> Application Process








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
  • uses only materials that will enable or support the activities of participants, such as craft and building supplies
  • 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
The application must:
  • include a correct contact email address to the applicant has free access
  • be submitted online by March 15 for the following academic year


An application will not be considered if:
  • any of the eligibility rules and guidelines are not followed
  • the program or materials are vague or incomplete
  • the program does not seem feasible for the budget requested
  • the budget includes general operating or administrative costs, transportation, salaries or fees
  • the majority of the budget consists of the cost of books or equipment (such as DVDs, software, iPads, printers) intended for reuse outside the proposed program



Important Dates & Information

March 15, 11:59 p.m.: Annual deadline for submission
May 1: Notification of status emailed to all applicants
May 15 (approximate): Mini-Grant checks mailed
June 1: Contact us if you applied and have not heard from us. Final Report due for programs funded the prior year
Replacements for lost or expired award checks will be issued with a $50 deduction.
Final Reports and their contents are the property of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation and may be featured on our website and social media. Full credit will be given.


  • 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 Mini-Grant Final Report is due by June 1 of the academic year in which your Mini-Grant program took place. The Mini-Grant is awarded in May; the program will take place during the following 12 months; and the Final Report is due at the end of that period.
  • If mailing your Final Report, do not request a signature on delivery.
  • 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
  • We do not accept oversize electronic files because they cannot 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



Application Process

1. Fill out the online application form completely, making sure you include an email address to which you have free access. The deadline for submission is March 15, 11:59 p.m.
2. 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.**


3. You will receive an email notification by May 1 whether or not your proposal has been accepted. Checks will be sent to the winners a few weeks later. Contact us if you have not heard from us by June 1.
4. The Final Report is due by June 1 of the following year. Remember, Mini-Grants are awarded in May to support programs scheduled at any time during the next 12 months. Final Reports are due by the end of that period.


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