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Grants to Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and California Nonprofits, Libraries, and Schools for Literacy Programs to Benefit Disadvantaged Children

Literacy Program Grants


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: California: The Sacramento and San Francisco Bay AreasMaryland: Greater BaltimoreNew York CityNew YorkPennsylvania: Philadelphia and Surrounding Areas

Important Dates
Deadline: 02/15/24 Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $10,000 to Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and California nonprofit organizations, schools, and public libraries for literacy programs that serve children from disadvantaged populations in eligible locations. Applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to applying. Funding is intended for innovative and effective literacy programs in the following regions: greater Baltimore, Maryland; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas; and the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas in California.

The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation provides grants to organizations that serve economically or socially at-risk children. Programs that demonstrate innovation or a unique approach will receive favorable attention in our evaluation. New literacy programs are welcome to apply, as are those with a proven record of effectiveness.

The Foundation is interested in literacy programs that engage children in activities that foster a lifelong love of reading. Programs may introduce or assist pre-school children in the enjoyment of books, or increase school-age children's reading skills. Literacy activities can take a variety of forms and can take place in a variety of environments, including but not limited to classrooms, after-school settings, community centers, libraries or other public spaces, or in the home. Innovative, positive approaches are desired. Programs that demonstrate innovative, positive, or unique approaches are desired.

The Foundation supports programs that have repeated and regular interaction with youth by skilled volunteers or staff who provide stepped programming to advance literacy. The Foundation also recognizes the benefit of two-generation approaches to literacy advancement, wherein parents or other family members, or caregivers are educated in the importance and methods of exposing a child to books and reading. 

Grants from the Foundation may go to general program support. The Foundation will also consider funding for a specific purpose that might otherwise not receive attention from other funders. 


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Literacy programs operated by charitable [501(c)(3)] and other non-taxable agencies, including public libraries and schools, are eligible.

Grants are not provided to programs consisting of once-only contact, or to book give-away programs.

Pre-Application Information
Applying for a Grant

The Foundation reviews literacy grant requests in two cycles annually: new requests in the spring, and renewal requests in the fall. Please note the following deadlines:

February 15 - Letters of Intent from potential new grantees
October 1 - Renewal requests from current grantees

Interested applicants should email a Foundation trustee, attaching a brief (one page) Letter of Intent. Also provide telephone contact information, along with relevant website URL information, if available. Typically, an informational phone call and/or site visit will follow. If appropriate alignment of goals for the organization and the Foundation are established, a very brief grant proposal will be requested before a grant can be awarded.

Estimated Size of Grant
Literacy grants from the Foundation have ranged from $2,000 to $10,000.

Contact Information
Potential applicants should contact the following Foundation trustee via email in the areas listed:
- Baltimore –
- New York City –,
- Philadelphia –
- Sacramento and SF Bay Area –

Questions regarding the Foundation's literacy program grants may be emailed to the trustee responsible for their particular geographic area, listed above.

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