The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation


Special note to organizations considering applying for a Lois Lenski Covey Foundation literacy program grant in 2023.

For the remainder of the calendar year 2023 the Foundation will not be considering new literacy program grants; we will only consider grant renewals. Only organizations that received a literacy program grant from the LLCF in the recent past are eligible to apply.


Literacy Program Grants


Lois Lenski, children’s book author and 1946 Newbery medalist for Strawberry Girl, understood that childrens’ ability to read is imperative for their success and their ability to understand the world around them. Towards that end, the Foundation provides grants to innovative and effective literacy programs that serve children from disadvantaged populations in the following regions: greater Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia and surrounding areas, and the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas.


Literacy programs operated by charitable [501(c)(3)] and other non-taxable agencies, including public libraries and schools, are eligible. The Foundation provides grants to organizations that serve economically or socially at-risk children. Programs that demonstrate innovation or a unique approach will receive favorable attention in our evaluation. New literacy programs are welcome to apply, as are those with a proven record of effectiveness.


Purpose and amount of the Grants


We are interested in literacy programs that engage children in activities that foster a lifelong love of reading. Programs may  introduce or assist pre-school children in the enjoyment of books, or increase school-age children's reading skills. Literacy activities can take a variety of forms and can take place in a variety of environments, including but not limited to classrooms, after-school settings, community centers, libraries or other public spaces, or in the home. Innovative, positive approaches are desired.


We support programs that have repeated and regular interaction with youth by skilled volunteers or staff who provide stepped programming to advance literacy. We also recognize the benefit of two-generation approaches to literacy advancement, wherein parents or other family members are educated in the importance and methods of exposing a child to books and reading. We do not provide grants to programs consisting of once-only contact, or to book give-away programs.


Grants from the Foundation may go to general program support. We will also consider funding for a specific purpose that might otherwise not receive attention from other funders. Literacy grants from the Foundation have been from $2,000 to $10,000. We are interested in partnering with grantees and thus applications for renewals will be considered.



Applying for a Grant


Potential applicants should contact the following Foundation trustee via email in the areas listed:

Baltimore –

New York City –,

Philadelphia –

Sacramento and SF Bay Area –


When emailing a director, please attach a brief (one page) Letter of Intent. Also provide telephone contact information, along with relevant website URL information, if available. Typically, an informational phone call and/or site visit will follow. If appropriate alignment of goals for the organization and the Foundation are established, a very brief grant proposal will be requested before a grant can be awarded.





Questions regarding the Foundation's literacy program grants may be emailed to the trustee responsible for their particular geographic area, listed above.