- Associated Press - Sunday, January 31, 2016

WATERBURY CENTER, Vt. (AP) - The deadline is nearing for elementary schools in Vermont and New Hampshire to apply for Year of the Book grants from the Children’s Literacy Foundation.

The foundation says it will provide the grants of $25,000 each to eight elementary schools in need of extra support for literary experiences and to purchase books.

Eligible literacy programs include presentations by authors, storytellers and illustrators, writing workshops and field trips.

Schools are selected based largely on the percentage of students receiving subsidized meals and schools with students underperforming in reading and writing.

Deadline for applying for the eight grants of $25,000 each is Feb. 10. Grant recipients will be announced in late February.

Children’s Literacy Foundation director Meredith Scott says the grants are intended to support school-wide and classroom-based initiatives “to make reading and writing fun for kids.”

“CLiF encourages schools to use the grant to enhance their relationships with parents, the public library, early learning centers and community members,” Scott said.

The grants are also designed to allow participating students to choose up to 10 new books to bring home.

“New books for school and public libraries, classrooms, preschools and for the students to bring home are an incredibly important part of the Year of the Book grants,” Scott said. She said the organization estimates that 50-70 percent of their populations do not have books at home.

Applications and guidelines are available at www.clifonline.org/year-of-the-book

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