The American Library Association (ALA) is accepting applications for the Great Stories Club, a grant program in which library workers lead reading and discussion programs with underserved teens in their communities. The Great Stories Club is made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Up to 150 grants will be awarded.
Working with small groups of teens, grantees will host reading and discussion programs for up to four thematically related books. The titles — selected in consultation with librarian advisors and humanities scholars — are chosen to resonate with reluctant readers struggling with complex issues like academic probation, detention, incarceration, violence and poverty. Participating libraries may choose to work with one or both of the following themes during a 12-month programming period (September 2018 – August 2019): “Empathy: The Cost of Switching Sides” and “What Makes a Hero? Self, Society and Rising to the Occasion.”
All types of libraries are eligible, as long as they work in partnership with, or are located within, organizations that serve under-resourced youth, such as alternative high schools, juvenile justice organizations, homeless shelters, foster care agencies, teen parenting programs, residential treatment facilities and other nonprofit and community agencies. (Read an account of a Great Stories Club grantee and her partnership with a juvenile detention center.) Grantees receive:
- 11 paperback copies of up to four book selections (10 to gift to participants; 1 for discussion leader/library collection)
- Travel and accommodation expenses paid for one staff member to attend a 1 ½-day project orientation workshop in Chicago
- Programming materials, including discussion guides, related reading lists and promotional resources
Read the project guidelines and apply online.