Learn how you can nominate individuals from your area for IRC awards or how to benefit from grant money that is available each year for various educational activities.

(To view past IRC Award Recipients, please click here.)

Awards

  • Barack Obama Library Award. Do you know a teacher of 5th-8th-grade kids who could make good use of a classroom library? This award is a classroom library, valued at $1000, which was created in 2006 through a generous gift to the IRC from (then) Senator Obama. This collection is comprised of carefully selected literature that is “culturally relevant” for African-American readers and targets students in the middle-school (5th-8th) grade range. The Nomination Guidelines and Form are available online. Nominations are due by November 1, 2021.

  • Council of Excellence Award. The Award of Excellence recognizes local and special interest councils that organize and conduct well-rounded programs serving the council members, the community, and the state association. The Application Form and Guidelines are available online. Applications are due by October 1. 

  • Family Literacy Award. This award recognizes an IRC member who promotes and supports parent involvement in children's reading. Deadline for nominations is November 1, 2021. The Nomination Form is now available online.

  • Hall of Councils. The Hall of Councils at the annual IRC Conference allows councils the opportunity to advertise activities and accompllishments and to promote membership with a display.

  • Jerry Johns Reading Educator of the Year Award. This award recognizes an outstanding teacher who make contributions in promoting literacy among students, colleagues, and school communities. This award is supported by a generous gift from Jerry Johns. Deadline: Application Form, letters of recommendation, and your philosophy statement are due by November 1, 2021The Application Form is now available online.

  • ILA Exemplary Reading Program Award. The ILA Exemplary Reading Program Award is sponsored by the International Literacy Association to recognize outstanding reading and language arts programs at all grade levels (elementary, middle, and high school). The deadline is November 28.

  • IRC Hall of Fame Award. The IRC has designed the Hall of Fame to recognize significant contributions to reading or reading education. Two awards will be given at the annual statewide conference. The immediate Past President shall receive the nomination forms and final determination will be made by the Executive Committee no later than 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting. Deadline: All Nomination Forms must be received by November 1, 2021. The Nomination Guidelines and Form are now available online.

  • IRC Service Award. The IRC will present the IRC Service Award (formerly known as the Certificate of Recognition) at the annual IRC Annual Meeting. Certificates are awarded to the most deserving individuals who meet the criteria listed. The ILA State Coordinator shall receive the nomination forms and final determination of the recipients will be made by the Executive Committee no later than 60 days prior to the annual meeting. Deadline: All Nomination Forms must be received by November 1, 2021. The Nomination Guidelines and Form are now available online.

  • Pamela J. Farris Rural Classroom Library Award. Do you know a K-8 teacher who teaches in a rural school and could make good use of a classroom library? If so, this award will provide the winning teacher with a classroom library to enhance the availability of quality literature for students to read in rural areas. The Pamela J. Farris Rural Classroom Library Award was created in 2012 by a gift from Pamela J. Farris to the Illinois Reading Council. Nominations are due November 1, 2021. The Nomination Form is now available online.

  • Prairie State Award for Excellence in Writing for Children. This award recognizes an Illinois Children's/young adult author whose body of work demonstrates excellence, engenders a love of literature, and embraces an important part of the mission of the Illinois Reading Council—to promote lifelong literacy. Deadline: All Nomination Packets must be postmarked by June 15. Packet includes a list of past recipients.

  • Static Stick Decal Design Contest. Students in grade 4, 5, or 6 are encouraged to create an original design promoting reading. The winning design is printed on static stick decals. Entries must be postmarked no later than January 15, 2022. The Application Form is now available online.

  • Taglieri Boys Classroom Library. Do you know a K-8 teacher that would be interested in a classroom library targeting at boys? While the library focus would be books that would entice boys to read, girls would have access to the books once in the classroom. Given the current state of funding for classroom supplies, likely almost every classroom could use more informational books, biographies, graphic novels, etc. . Nominations are due November 1, 2021. The Nomination Form is now available online.

Grants

  • International Grant. The International Committee of the Illinois Reading Council has created a grant to promote literacy projects internationally. Studies indicate that poverty levels and literacy rates are inversely proportional. By supporting our international community in the areas of literacy, it in turn improves our universal society. The IRC wants to support these efforts. The Grant Application and Guidelines are available online. The maximum amount per grant is $500. The application deadline is May 1 Grants will be awarded for the next fiscal year from July to June. Awards will be announced by July 15.

  • Literacy Support Grant. The Illinois Reading Council will award financial grants to local and special interest councils and individuals council members for the purpose of promoting literacy development in the school and community, and/or providing professional development opportunities related to the improvement of reading and writing instruction. If fulfilling one of the above stated purposes requires a joint effort with another school, district, or other agency, letters stating their intended involvement are required from these agencies. The Guidelines and Application Forms are available online. There is no specific amount per grant. The amount awarded for each grant may be less than the amount requested. Application deadline is May 1. Grants will be awarded for the next fiscal year from July to June. Awards will be announced by July 15.

  • R.E.A.D. Grant. The Family Literacy Committee will award a small grant to local and special interest councils for a Read, Eat, and Discover (R.E.A.D.) Project. This project must be done in conjunction with Title 1 Schools. This grant will help support councils to bring litracy materials and books to students in these schools. The Guidelines and Application Forms are available online. Application deadline is November 1, 2021.

For more information, contact us at [email protected].