FUNDING A SCHOOL VISIT
There are a lot of different ways to fund a school visit. Here are a few resources and ideas for bringing an author or illustrator to your school!
PTA: The PTA is often willing to cover the cost of a school visit, or run a fundraiser to cover one.
Book Sales: When you buy Jen's books from an independent bookstore, you can usually get a school or bulk order discount. The books are sold to students at cover price, and the bookstore gives the schools ~ 20% of that amount. That money can go towards funding a school visit.
Book Fair: Many author visits are paid for courtesy of book fair money.
In-School Field Trip: Students often contribute a few dollars to partake in a field trip. Some schools promote an author visit as an In-School Field Trip and expenses are covered by those contributions.
Pencil Sales: Some schools have a pencil or sticker vending machine. The librarian sometimes uses the money from pencils to pay for a visit.
Read-a-Thon or Write-a-Thon: Kids raise money with pledges for an all-day reading or writing event! Partner reading, read-alouds, young author readings promote literacy in advance of an author or illustrator's visit.
Uniform-Free Day: At schools where kids wear uniforms, schools sometimes pay for author/illustrator visits by giving each student the option to pay a few dollars for a uniform-free day. That money funds the visit.
Box Tops: A few school visits are funded by Box Tops!
Kickstarter: One librarian used Kickstarter to successfully fund a school visit.
Wish List: Teachers can put "author visit" on their wish list, and sometimes families will contribute toward the cost.
Local Businesses: Some school visits are funded by asking local businesses to sponsor a visit. These businesses often have funds set aside for community events. Those sponsors received a shout out prior to presentations or received an acknowledgement in a letter home to families.
Donorschoose.org: a website that allows teachers to post a wished for item or event for their classroom, and donors can choose to support them.
There are a wide variety of grants available for education, literacy, and the arts. The National Foundation of the Arts and National Endowment for Humanities both have grants. Local Arts Commissions and State Library associations also often offer funding or grants. Large corporations such as Target, Crayola, and HEB offer awards and grants.
A large list of grants can be found at the Booking Biz website here.
Texas grants: another list of grants, including some Texas-specific grants is here.
North Carolina grants: a list of grants for North Carolina is here.
Teach.com offers grants for teachers and classroom enrichment here.
SCBWI offers a grant specifically for school visits here.