RECEIPT DEADLINE: Friday, December 30, 2016, 11:59 p.m. CST
Date posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Questions? Contact the American Library Association (ALA) staff at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants may wish to download a PDF PREVIEW of the application.
The Great Stories Club (GSC) is a three-part, thematic reading and discussion program series developed to engage teens who are facing difficult challenges through literature-based library outreach programs. Participating libraries work with small groups of 6-10 teens, provide three theme-related paperback books for each participant to keep as their own, and convene opportunities for exploration and discussion of relevant humanities content among peers. Discussions are led by an experienced programming librarian, often in cooperation with staff from a partner organization or department, such as teachers and counselors.
The goals of the Great Stories Club are to:
The GSC program also seeks to make a positive impact at the institutional and community level by:
Up to 100 GSC grants on the theme “Nature vs. Nurture: Origins of Teen Violence and Suicide” will be awarded to eligible institutions around the country to support program series that explore key humanities themes presented in the book collection described below. Participating sites will host at least one reading and discussion event for each of the three titles on this reading list.
All GSC programs must take place between March and August 2017.
The current theme of the Great Stories Club is “Nature vs. Nurture: Origins of Teen Violence and Suicide,” developed by Laura Bates, Professor of English at Indiana State University and author of Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard (Sourcebooks, 2013).
School shootings, bullying, teen suicide — it seems like you can’t turn on the TV or scroll through your Facebook feed without hearing about some form of teen violence. What’s the cause? It’s true that we all experience stresses like peer pressure, unrequited love and academic stress, but for some young people, these day-to-day anxieties are deepened by feelings of depression, insecurity or self-loathing, feelings that can increase isolation and lead to violence or suicide. In this Great Stories Club series, participants will read and discuss the following three books about characters who are dealing with teen violence and suicide.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker — his classmate and crush — who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life — which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job — Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That's when things start to get crazy.
At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn't brilliant compared to the other kids; he's just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable, and Craig stops eating and sleeping — until, one night, he nearly kills himself.
Craig's suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, isolated from the crushing pressures of school and friends, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.
Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness. For a novel about depression, it's definitely a funny story.
We all know the basics of Romeo and Juliet, but No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels brings the story to life in a new way. These dynamic visual adaptations are impossible to put down. Each of the titles is illustrated in its own unique style, but all are distinctively offbeat, slightly funky, and appealing to teen readers. The book features an illustrated cast of characters, a helpful plot summary, line-by-line translations of the original play, and illustrations that show the reader exactly what’s happening in each scene.
The ALA Public Programs Office will make up to one hundred (100) Great Stories Club grants to implement the series “Nature vs. Nurture: Origins of Teen Violence and Suicide.” Programming requirements appear below under Requirements for Grantees.
ALL recipients of a Great Stories Club “Violence” grant will receive the following.
Additionally, up to 50 libraries that are new to the GSC program model, and have not participated in a national orientation workshop on one of the project’s prior themes will receive the following.
Applications will be accepted from all types of libraries (public, school, academic and special) in the United States and its territories that meet one of the following criteria:
Individuals and organizations other than libraries are not eligible to apply. Federal entities are also ineligible to apply. Applications from organizations whose projects are so closely intertwined with a federal entity that the project takes on characteristics of the federal entity’s own authorized activities may also be deemed ineligible. This does not preclude applicants from using grant funds from, or sites and materials controlled by, other federal entities in their projects.
Late, incomplete, or ineligible applications will not be reviewed.
ALA will accept applications for Great Stories Club grants between November 1 – December 30, 2016. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions before filling out an application.
To begin the application process, go to http://apply.ala.org/gsc (Coming Soon). To apply, you must complete the following steps:
Before you access the application, you must register to create an application account.
If you have already registered when applying for another ALA Public Programs Office grant project, you may log in using your e-mail address and password.
Note: The project director is the person who will be responsible for coordinating the entire proposed Great Stories Club series. She or he will be the primary point of contact for the project at the applicant institution.
To complete Step 3, provide all the information that is requested on the Project Director Information screen. You must provide a shipping address in order to receive book collections and related materials. You must then save the information.
After clicking the “SAVE” button, you will be able to return to the application at any time and log in using your e-mail address and password. This will allow you to edit, save, and return to your application as needed prior to the December 30, 2016 submission deadline.
Per the grant guidelines, public libraries, academic libraries, and all other library applicants not located within an organization that serves an at-risk population must recruit a partner organization.
Please answer Yes or No to the following question: “My library is located within an organization that serves an at-risk population.”
Those who answer “No” will see fields in which to provide information about the required partner organization. A letter of support from the partner organization must also be included in the “Upload Supporting Materials” section ahead.
Before you compose the narrative section of this proposal, we strongly recommend that you read these guidelines carefully. If you do not, your proposal is unlikely to be competitive.
Please answer each narrative section, describing your plans for hosting this Great Stories Club reading and discussion program series at your organization. The proposal narrative consists of six to seven sections (described immediately below). Please note that each section of the narrative may not exceed 500 words.
The narrative sections are as follows.
Using the table generator provided in the online application, provide a schedule of the programs, events, and other activities described in your proposal. As applicable, please indicate the date, location, event type/format, brief description, and anticipated attendance for each program that will be hosted during your series.
Past GSC Participation
Please indicate whether your library received a grant to participate in the GSC series “Hack the Feed: Media, Resistance, Revolution” and/or “The Art of Change: Creation, Growth and Transformation.” Due to budget limitations, only libraries that have not participated in a prior workshops will have a staff person included in the March 2017 “Nature vs. Nurture: Origins of Teen Violence and Suicide” workshop.
Request Extra Books
If you can reach more than 11 readers with your GSC series, and would like to be considered for additional books if they are available, please indicate that here. Additional books may be available when awards are announced, or later during the grant term, but this is not guaranteed. Applicants should plan programs based on receiving 11 copies of each book.
Upload a resume for the project director, local partner contact person, and any other key speakers/presenters described in the proposal narrative.
Letters of Commitment and Support
Upload letter(s) of commitment from your partner organization. Other optional letters of support may be included here as well.
Sample Publicity Materials (OPTIONAL)
Upload samples of previous or current reading and discussion programs, youth outreach initiatives, or other related efforts.
An application to host a Great Stories Club series is an application for an award from the ALA, using funding provided by the NEH, an agency of the federal government. ALA is required by law to ask applicants to identify for each application a certifying official who is authorized to submit applications for funding on behalf of the organization.
To complete this section, you must enter all of the information that is requested.
The Review and Edit page summarizes all the information that you have entered, including your Project Director Information and your Proposal Narrative. From this page you can:
Once you have completed all parts of your application, you may submit it at any time by selecting the “Submit Application” button. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CST on Friday, December 30, 2016. Applications submitted after that time will be considered ineligible.
Note that once you have submitted your application, you can no longer alter it. The application will then be submitted for review.
You will receive an e-mail confirming submission of your application. At the confirmation page you will be able to print out a copy of your application. Print and keep this copy for your records.
Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
Another factor that may influence the final selection of libraries is the location of the sites. The selection team would like programs to take place in all regions of the country.
Applicants are encouraged to address questions about the selection guidelines, process, and requirements to the ALA Public Programs Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, email@example.com
Each application will be assessed by a panel of librarians, Great Stories Club project advisors, and ALA project staff. All applicants will be notified of their award status on January 16, 2017.
December 30, 2016
January 16, 2017
Book collections, promotional materials ship:
January 31, 2017
In-person orientation program (for new GSC project directors):
March 9-10, 2017 in Chicago, IL
Online orientation (for past GSC grantees):
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 – 2-3 pm and Friday, March 3, 2017 – 2-3 pm (Sessions will be archived for those unable to attend the live events)
March – August 2017
Required final report due:
September 29, 2017, or within 30 days of final program (whichever comes first). A final report must be received before a library may apply for an additional Great Stories Club grant.
If you have questions about the program, contact:
Public Programs Office
American Library Association
1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045