Literacy Champions Grant

See the 2023 Literacy Champions

On June 15, 2023, the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County awarded $100,000 through its 2023 Literacy Champions Grants program to 18 local organizations. The award ceremony, which included comments by Deputy Onondaga County Executive Ann Rooney, was held at the United Way of Central New York.

"Supporting these exceptional organizations across Onondaga County is paramount in elevating literacy across all stages of life," emphasized Kevin Schwab, Literacy Coalition Co-Chair. "The Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County firmly believes in the transformative power of literacy, as it opens doors to endless opportunities, empowers individuals to unlock their full potential, and serves as the bedrock for a brighter future.” 

“By investing in literacy, we are investing in the strength and prosperity of our community, project by project," added Debbie Stack, Co-Chair.

The diverse award-winning grant projects align with the Literacy Coalition's core goal of promoting literacy across the lifespan. The work of grant recipients will encompass a wide range of initiatives, including adult education programs and services, early childhood literacy and development, extracurricular childhood and youth programs with a focus on summer learning, and family literacy programs and services. 

Through initiatives such as the Literacy Champions Grants and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County remains steadfast in its commitment to collectively build and support diverse literacy initiatives throughout the Onondaga County community.

Check back in Janurary 2024 for upcoming literacy champions grants opportunities

The Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County invites not-for-profit organizations serving Onondaga County residents to apply for its Literacy Champion Grants for projects that align to the Coalition’s mission of achieving literacy for all.  Projects that either focus directly on literacy or indirectly impact the literacy needs of adults, children, and families will be considered. The Coalition will support new projects that are seeking  funding to launch or existing projects that have shown promise and need funding to expand.  Grant awards do not typically exceed $10,000. The Coalition may consider supporting other projects throughout the year, based on funding availability.

How do I apply?

Apply online. When the application is open, the form will be made available here.

When seeking a grant, please consider the following:

  • Applications should be clear and concise

  • Projects should focus directly on literacy or indirectly impact the literacy needs of adults, children, and/or families

  •  Projects should align with the Literacy Coalition’s mission

  • Projects should align with one or more of the Literacy Coalition’s goals of supporting:

    • Adult education programs and services, including enrollment in GED classes;

    • Early childhood literacy programs and services, including enrollment in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library;

    • Extracurricular childhood and youth programs and services, including summer learning;

    • Family literacy programs and services.

Who can seek a grant?

Not-for-profit organizations serving Onondaga County residents are invited to apply for the 2023 Literacy Champion Grants. If the applying organization is not an IRS recognized 501c(3) nonprofit, the applying organization must secure a fiscal sponsor.

When will awards be made?

The deadline for grant application submission is May 5, 2023, at 5 p.m.  Grants are expected to be awarded in the beginning of June 2023.

How much are the awards?

Grant awards do not typically exceed $10,000.

Are there any restrictions?

In general, the Literacy Coalition does not fund requests for:

  • Grants to individuals or for candidates for political office

  • Grants for building or construction projects or for debt reduction or capital campaigns 

Is there any follow-up required?

Should your application be approved, we will require a detailed project budget along with your organization’s budget. We will contact you if any other additional information is required.

The Literacy Coalition requires that organizations receiving awards collect and report data on the project. More guidance will be given at a mandatory meeting for all the grant awardees.

If you have any questions, please contact us at