Read for Success Grant

Reading Is Fundamental is committed to a literate America where all children have the opportunities that literacy provides. Our model for impact is grounded in creating a culture of literacy for the children we serve - providing choice and access to books, as well as engagement opportunities for these children and the educators, parents, and caregivers that nurture them.

The Literacy Crisis

There is a literacy crisis in America today, with only 37% of high school graduates reading at or above proficiency. This troubling truth impacts all aspects of these children’s lives, limiting opportunities for them and their families.

Literacy is an essential life skill that provides the foundation for a lifetime of opportunity. As America’s champion for children’s literacy, Reading Is Fundamental gives kids the confidence to strive because literacy opens doors to a better life.

A productive, thriving nation is dependent on a literate society. Every child deserves an opportunity to own books, learn how to read, and obtain the fundamental building blocks needed to achieve their highest potential. The literacy crisis is real, the impact is staggering, and the need is growing. Join us. When we help children develop strong reading skills, we provide them with the confidence to strive – for anything.

Grant Details

Read for Success is an evidence-based reading intervention program developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education designed to combat the summer learning slide. The Read for Success Program is an integrated instructional model incorporating in-school and at home literacy extensions to ensure children have choice and access, making reading relevant and relatable. Instructional support materials in the form of classroom book collections are supplemented by professional development and literacy activities and coupled with the successful RIF Books for Ownership model. For additional information on the Read for Success or Books for Ownership program, click here.


RIF is seeking to impact the summer slide and allow for all children to experience the life changing power of literacy by offering a competitive grant funding opportunity to implement RIF’s Read for Success program.


The Read for Success grant program provides funding for two-year implementation allowing school and site administrators enough time to evaluate the efficacy of the program and the opportunity to determine how best to leverage the program. Grantees are not required to implement the program with the same set of students each year, but can choose to do so. Read for Success activities may take place during the school year or the summer.

Implementation & Program Components

  • Supplemental Literacy Instructional Materials

    A collection of 35 high-quality fiction and non-fiction books are supplemented by standards-based enrichment scaffolding activities designed to enable educators to easily integrate these resources into their instructional plan in ways that are relevant and related to students and driving a deeper level of engagement.

  • Beyond the Classroom

    The program supports the engagement of students and parents in literacy outside the classroom through Books for Ownership distribution events. RIF’s Book for Ownership program has a proven 50-year track record. The importance of book ownership and the ability of children to have a voice in the books they choose is directly tied to increased reading motivation and performance. Every participating child has the opportunity to choose and keep 8 books for use in the summer. These amazing events capture the joy a student and their families experience when they are able to call a book their own.

  • Professional Development

    Professional development for educators, a key component to the success of any program, includes access to training modules and resources online as well as personalized support provided by RIF’s program experts.

Program Requirements

  1. Meaningful integration of the provided activities into the classroom
  2. A Books for Ownership event
  3. Professional development for participating educators/facilitators

Evaluation and Competitive Preference

Grants will be evaluated on proposed plans related to 1) use of the classroom collection activities; 2) Books for Ownership events; 3) ability to complete required professional development; and 4) incorporation of additional RIF resources.

Competitive preference will be given for the following:

  1. Applications that can best demonstrate long-term sustainability for their proposed RIF activities and the ability to leverage RIF's grant award through local partners and funders.
  2. Applications that incorporate the use of digital media, including RIF’s Literacy Central, into their plans. For additional information on Literacy Central, click here.


School districts and individual schools, public libraries, community-based organizations, civic organizations, and other youth-serving entities that are part of the RIF Community (registered on the RIF Literacy Network site).

Minimum # of Participating Students

2 classrooms (25 students per classroom), minimum number of 50 students.

Grant Period

2 years

Budget Calculation

Below are key budget considerations for the Read for Success grant:

  • The cost per classroom for the two-year grant period is $2,500. The RIF grant will cover half at $1,250.
  • The grant funding from RIF will only cover the cost of classroom collections and accompanying collateral. It does not cover the cost of student books which will be covered by the grantee’s matching funds.
  • The grantee is required to serve a minimum of 2 classrooms (based on an average of 25 students per classroom) for a two-year grant term.
  • Given the minimum two classroom requirement, the minimum grant request from RIF is $2,500.
  • Grantees must provide a local match equal to 100% of the funds requested and which must be spent on the purchase of student books.
  • Additional classrooms can be added at a rate of $2,500 for the two-year grant term of which the RIF grant will cover half.
  • When a classroom has more than 25 students, RIF will cover half of the incremental cost to purchase student books based on a calculation of $35 per student.

Awards & Matching Funds

We anticipate making awards up to, but not exceeding, $75,000. (This maximum would cover 30 classrooms of 25 students over a two-year period.) Matching funds equal to the grant amount requested are required. Matching funds may be provided by the grantee itself or a partner organization or funder.

  • Grant awards from RIF will be made in the form of the book collections and accompanying collateral to implement the Read for Success program.
  • All student books purchased through local matching funds must be ordered from the online RIF book store.
  • Awardees will be invoiced for the matching funds and must submit their matching funds to RIF National.

Key Dates

Date Description

September 5, 2017

Grant application opens

September 7, 13, and 19, 2017

Grant webinar sessions

October 2, 2017

Grant application closes

October 1-31, 2017

Review period

November 1, 2017

Grant awards announced

December 15, 2017

Deadline for agreements to be signed and matching funds due to RIF

January - September 2018

Year 1 Read for Success implementation

March 1, 2018

Deadline to select student summer books

May - June 2018

Year 1 end of school year celebration/summer book distribution

September 30, 2018

Year 1 data and reporting due to RIF

January - September 2019

Year 2 Read for Success implementation

March 1, 2019

Deadline to select student summer books

May - June 2019

Year 2 end of school year celebration/summer book distribution

September 30, 2019

Year 2 final data and reporting due to RIF

Please note that you must fill out all information in the grant application at one time. You will not be able to save your application.

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