The Year of the Book is CLiF’s flagship grant program designed to support literacy at elementary schools across Vermont and New Hampshire.

CLiF’s Year of the Book provides $25,000 worth of literacy programs, support, and new children’s books over one school year to help build a culture of literacy in elementary schools across New Hampshire and Vermont. This program targets schools that have a high percentage of students receiving free/reduced lunch and students scoring below proficient in literacy assessments. Since we started CLiF’s Year of the Book we have sponsored 115 public elementary schools across the Twin States! Meet our current grant partners for 2024-25 here.

Activities and Support

Each sponsored school receives:

  • Up to $25,000 worth of literacy programming and books
  • A wide variety of literacy-related programs that will take place during the school year, and several other forms of support (see “More Details” link below)
  • New, high-quality children’s books for each student to keep and to select from hundreds of inspiring titles
  • A follow-up “Momentum Grant” after Year of the Book worth $1000

Goals of Year of the Book

  • Supplement elementary schools’ existing efforts to create a pro-literacy culture in the school community
  • Encourage enthusiasm for books among students from preschool to grade 6 
  • Inspire students to read and write for pleasure
  • Support educators’ literacy curricula and creative integration of literacy into all areas of study
  • Ensure all children have a collection of high-quality books of their own at home
  • Get parents/caregivers more involved in their children’s literacy activities and encourage more reading at home


Public elementary schools located in New Hampshire or Vermont with:

  • At least 35% of students qualifying for free/reduced lunch.*
  • At least 30% of students scoring below proficient on reading and writing assessments.
  • Students in grades preK-6
  • An enthusiastic and organized individual to serve as a local coordinator and to collaborate with CLiF on planning, organizing, and scheduling Year of the Book events (small stipend provided).
  • CLiF will partner with schools of all sizes, but CLiF programming has the greatest positive impact when it serves no more than 250 students. CLiF will ask schools with over 250 students which grades they will choose to serve. The children served by the grant should represent more than 50% of the K-6 student body.
  • CLiF offers a “small school grant” to schools with 75 or fewer students (K-6). This grant provides similar supports but on a reduced scale. You still need to fill out this application to be considered.

*If you are under or close to 35% FRL and have justification around challenges you face when collecting this data, you are welcome to apply and explain your situation. CLiF aims to serve students and communities most in need; we recognize a community may still show great need but not meet the 35% FRL threshold due to certain variables.

How CLiF Will Select Grant Recipients

Criteria will include:

  • Demonstrated need, comprised of but not limited to percentage of students qualifying for free/reduced lunch, assessment reading and writing scores, and written testimony.
  • Geographic location and CLiF grant history.
  • Enthusiasm, creativity, and collaboration exhibited by the school staff.
  • Clear understanding of how this grant will benefit students and their families.
  • School commitment and readiness to fulfilling the award requirements described above.

To Apply

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2024-25 Year of the Book cohort. The application for the 2025-26 cohort will open in December 2024.

Please note: a school that has received the Year of the Book grant must wait a minimum of six years from the completion of the grant before applying for the Year of the Book again – or five years from the completion of your Momentum year. Contact Cassie if you’d like to learn more or have any questions about eligibility (

Year of the Book


“I do feel that the Year of the Book is making a change in the climate here – CLiF has given me ways to reach out and the families that need to be reached are responding.”

Liz Rosenfeld, School Librarian, Laconia, NH

CLiF has served over 350,000 children since 1998.

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