Funding for English Literacy Programs

Used books

Vernon Library Supplies has announced a grant opportunity to support programs designed “to help new immigrants achieve English literacy and proficiency.” Potential applicants should review the announcement and the application guidelines. Libraries and other non-profit organizations may request up to $5,000. Applications must be submitted via email to The deadline is October 31, 2017. Awards will start to be distributed on December 1, 2017.

In their moving video describing this grant opportunity, Vernon Library Supplies’ owners, Judy and Shai Robkin, pledge to give away 100% of their 2017 operating profits.

They note their own personal experiences with immigration: hiring a number of new immigrants for Vernon Library Supplies and celebrating the earning of their U.S. citizenship. Judy Robkin also particularly mentions her father’s arrival in the United States as a teenager from Nazi Germany. He subsequently served his new country as an American soldier and pursued a college education through the benefit of the G.I. Bill.

Shai Robkin elaborated, “From our work with libraries for now well over three decades, we have seen the incredible work that libraries have done helping new Americans gain the English proficiency needed for both the workplace and the social sphere. We owe our libraries a great debt of gratitude for this and for so many other things.”

The grant guidelines detail the specific information to include in the application: principal contact and organizational information, along with a description of the proposed English literacy program for new immigrants. The program description should such items as population demographics and number of people to be served, the nature of the proposed instruction, the number of hours of instruction per student, and other descriptive information, such as personnel. The application must include a projected program budget broken out by expense categories. Applicants should project program outcomes and state performance metrics. Other necessary documentation includes organizational tax-exempt status and a statement of certification (exact wording is noted in the guidelines).


About Eileen Morales

Throughout my career, I've helped museums and libraries in New York and New Jersey find funding sources for new projects. My favorite projects have utilized new technologies to increase public access to the photographs, diaries, and everyday objects that are not usually on display. My position as Grants Manager at the New Jersey State Library includes outreach to New Jersey libraries involved in the grant-seeking process. Email me at