About Mini-Grants

What Makes a Great Mini-Grant Program?

An EJK Mini-Grant program is a creative and innovative activity … that takes place in class or out in the community … provides an enriched experience … and is funded solely by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. It is an opportunity for a public school teacher or librarian to present a special project outside the standard curriculum or an engaging way to help students meet curricular goals. And every year sees an amazing variety of projects that foster creative expression, cooperation and community.

An innovative program can:

  • develop required academic skills in a creative and exciting way.
  • allow educators to collaborate across disciplines.
  • inspire students to work hard toward a desired goal, applying necessary skills and knowledge to the project and the team.
  • involve whole families and bridge generations to benefit the larger community.
  • give children the opportunity to explore their own culture and learn about others.

Successful programs have included a public story walk … a multicultural portrait project … a school garden … bookmaking … puppetry … and intergenerational storytelling.

See more examples in our Great Mini-Grant Programs gallery. Please use these as a starting point: We encourage new ideas.

Mini-Grant programs give teachers and librarians a unified, flexible way to meet Common Core goals—and offer students a fun experience, a sense of achievement and a source of pride. And when a program can be repeated in succeeding years, its benefits grow exponentially. That’s quite a feather in the cap for the school, the library and the educator who developed the program.

Our Policy on Mini-Grant Materials

We focus on funding innovative and exciting programs because they enhance the learning experience and because the value of the program is something we can evaluate. If the focus of the proposal is solely the purchase of books and/or equipment, or if the program described is minimal, we’re unable to evaluate the potential impact of the grant because the need for books and equipment is universal. We wish we could address these needs. But since we cannot, we have to put a premium on the creation of a special program. If such a program requires the purchase of books or equipment, we will still consider the application.