The Oakland Literacy Coalition works to ensure that all students have access to high quality books and literacy-rich environments at school, home, and everywhere across our community. Our Community Literacy Action Grants support literacy projects and book giveaways hosted by community and faith-based organizations. We also partner with schools to purchase new, academically and culturally relevant books for students to keep as part of their home libraries.

This map shows where our summer 2021 and 2021-2022 school year Community Literacy Action Grants and school-based book distributions have taken place. Click into a specific site to see more information, including the number of books given away.

Map Key:


Each school year and summer the Oakland Literacy Coalition invites applications for action grants of $500 to $1,000 for reading projects that give away high interest new books and encourage reading with preschool, elementary, and middle school age students in 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.

Applications have closed for the 2021-2022 school year.

The summer 2022 application cycle will open in April.

Who Should Apply?

Oakland-based community organizations and faith-based organizations that work with preschool through middle school age children 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 that provide school-based services are eligible to apply to hold an event at a partner  school, but cannot limit the event to only students enrolled in their program.  

Only one grant may be awarded per school or site per school year. Organizations may apply on behalf of one or more sites but  are required to submit separate applications for each. If you are planning a school-based event, please notify the principal of  your intent to apply in order to avoid multiple applications being submitted by different partners. 

At this time, we are not accepting applications from schools. Please see the information at the bottom of this page regarding requesting books from the OLC for your students.

Important Details:
  • All participating students must receive at least one new book to keep. The OLC is happy to work with you to select high quality, culturally affirming, and age-appropriate books.
  • 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 and create engaging opportunities to keep kids reading over the summer break.
  • Grant amounts will be awarded based on the estimated number of students served and the scope of the project.
How to Apply:

Interested organizations are asked to submit the brief online request form. We estimate the application should take 15-30 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:
  • Deadline to apply is Sunday, October 31, 2021 by 11:59pm.
  • The OLC will review applications and award grants on a rolling basis during October.  Funding decisions will be announced no later than Monday, November 8.
  • Projects must be completed by May 15, 2022.
  • Grantees will be asked to complete a short report by May 31, 2022.



If you don’t have a community group who will host an event at your school, the OLC would like to work with you to coordinate a book distribution of brand new, high quality books for your school with PK-middle school students. If interested, please complete our Book Request Form at the link below. Schools can either have a partner organization lead a project at your site with funding from a Community Literacy Action Grant, or do a book distribution, but not both. 

Book requests are closed for the 2021-2022 school year.

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

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