Each school year and summer the Oakland Literacy Coalition invites applications for action grants of up to $500 for reading projects across the community that give away high interest, new books and encourage reading with Oakland children and youth.

Community Literacy Action Grant book giveaway hosted by MOCHA at Liberation Park in East Oakland.

The following are just a few examples of possible projects and we welcome your fun and creative ideas!

  • Author visits where a local author comes to your program to read aloud from their book, talk to students about it, and answer questions.  Students then take home a copy of the book to read at home. 
  • Book clubs where students are given a book to read at home with their families and then come together during program hours for discussion.
  • Interactive read-alouds connected to a theme in your program followed by an activity that builds on the book, Each student receives a copy of the book to keep.
Who Should Apply?

Oakland community organizations and faith-based organizations that work with children and youth (ages 0-18) are encouraged to apply. We also welcome applications from informal neighborhood and/or cultural groups and childcare providers.

Your organization does NOT need to have a literacy or education component in order to apply, We believe that literacy happens everywhere and we LOVE working with all kinds of organizations to reach kids where they are and inspire a love of reading.

Organizations may apply on behalf of one or more sites/locations but  are required to submit separate applications for each. 

Schools and nonprofits that run school-based programs are not eligible for action grants at this time. However, we frequently have other opportunities for teachers and school-based educators and programs to apply for books for your students.

Important Details (Please Read Carefully):
  • All participating students must receive at least one new book to keep. The OLC has access to a large quantity of new, free, high interest books that grantees will be able to pick up from our office starting September 26. 
  • We welcome projects and book giveaways that focus on promoting literacy in languages other than English.
  • Projects should either directly engage students’ families or share information with families on how to support reading at home. The OLC will provide you with a toolkit of resources.
  • Applications will be prioritized that present a clear and compelling idea for how they’ll respond to students’ interests and needs.
  • Grant amounts will be awarded based on the estimated number of students served and the scope of the project. Grants can be used for project activities, including food and supplies. Please include a brief description (a detailed budget is not required).
  • If you only need books, please apply and put $0 in the “Amount Requested” field.
  • Please specify if you have a particular book that you would like to purchase with the grant money instead of coming to pick out books (we can’t guarantee specific titles on hand at the OLC office).
How to Apply:

Interested organizations are asked to submit the brief online request form linked below. We estimate the application should take 30-45 minutes.

We are happy to work with you to come up with an idea for your project or submit your request. Please reach out to us!

Key Dates:
  • Applications will be released on August 16, 2022, and can be submitted anytime until September 9th by 11:59pm.
  • The OLC will review applications and announce final funding decisions by Monday, September 19.
  • Grantees will need to come to the OLC office (2744 E 11th Street) to pick up books and checks starting September 26. We will work with you to coordinate a time for pickup.
  • Projects must be completed by May 12, 2023.
  • Grantees will be asked to submit a short report by May 31, 2023.
The Fall 2022 Application Deadline Has Passed

If you have questions about applying for an action grant or book distribution, please send us an email at

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