The Grant Committee is pleased to announce the following recipients for the 2021-2022 fiscal year:

The Literary Society of the Southwest is an advocate for literature and literacy in the community. The Society hosts presentations by outstanding authors who speak about the journey to become an author and the books they have written.  Annual membership fees and generous donations provide funding for the mission of the Literary Society to make contributions to community organizations to support literacy programs. 

Click here to download the list of 2021-2022 Grantees. 

The Friends of Scottsdale Public Library: Family Read Aloud Nights Program


Family Read Aloud Nights supports the importance of early reading for children attending Title I schools. The library hosts families with children between preschool and second grade four times a year. These bilingual events consist of three stories interspersed with songs, rhymes, and chants. Five helpful tips for supporting early literacy at home are discussed. Children receive a free book bag and book.

Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine: Libraries for two summer camps in Arizona and Literary Kits for a STEM camp on the Navajo Nation

Phoenix; Prescott

A library will be created for summer camp at Parsons Leadership Center in Phoenix and Willow Springs Program Center in Prescott. More than 500 k-12 girls who attend summer camp during June and July will have access to the libraries during “me time,” a daily part of camp life.

Seventy-five girls on the Navajo Nation will gather for a weekend of hands-on STEM activities. The STEM kits will include a book and a coloring activity book with colored pencils and crayons. Girls will take the kits used during camp home to be enjoyed by the whole family and utilized for schoolwork throughout the year.

Literacy Connects: Provide Books for the Read Seed Program


The Reading Seed program will distribute 11,000 books to students at 26 Title I elementary schools. Volunteer coaches will use the books to work with children reading below grade level. Children receive a free book weekly, chosen specifically to match their reading level and interests. Reading Seed provides reading coaching to 1,200 children in a typical school year. The vision is that all children will read at grade level by the end of the third grade.

Make Way for Books: Story School Program

Tucson; Phoenix

An innovative, bilingual early literacy program that fosters early childhood (0-5) literacy and language skills while empowering parents to support their children’s early literacy and learning. Children and families join every week to share stories and literacy activities focused on building children’s skills and parents’ knowledge, strategies, and confidence to support their children’s early literacy development. Each week, families join small cohorts to learn with highly experienced Family Literacy Specialists.

Read Better Be Better: After School Literacy Program


A twice-weekly literacy program serving 99 schools, which are Title I, in 10 districts with a literacy enrichment program helping children master the foundational skills necessary to become independent learners. During these twice-weekly afterschool sessions, “Leaders” develop stronger leadership skills while assisting their elementary-aged “Readers” in developing stronger literacy skills, translating into improved educational and career outcomes. After a single semester of participation in this program, students outperform their non-participating peers by 20% on standardized reading comprehension exams.

SciTech Institute: Provide STEM books and kit materials across Arizona


STEM books and kits will be distributed to rural, remote, and tribal communities providing engaging, hands-on learning with access to online support and additional explorations. Books and monthly kits are theme-based and include the essential components and instructions for projects.

Southwest Human Development: Reach Out and Read Program


A national, evidence-based pediatric literacy program gives young children a foundation for success in school and life by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Reach Out and Read uses the well-child visits to empower parents of children 0-5 to be their child’s first and most important teacher. Books are developmentally appropriate to promote meaningful connections through book sharing and story-telling. Also, by incorporating a book into a well-child exam, the medical provider can observe progress on developmental milestones such as book-handling skills (gross and fine motor progress) and visual tracking.

The Grant Committee is pleased to announce the following recipients for the 2020-2021 fiscal year:

The Friends of Scottsdale Public Library


A nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that supports reading programs and other initiatives to support public education. Grant funds will be used in children's expanded program.


Girl Scouts - AZ Cactus - Pine Council

Central & Northern Arizona

"Lit Camp" was developed from a pilot program with ASU to promote literacy during summer day camp sessions for more than 500 K-5 girls. Working on reading skills to explore Girl Scout pillars (STEM, the outdoors, entrepreneurship & life skills) to build confidence and discover the joy of reading.


Literacy Connects


Offers a wide range of programs to support adult literacy, families and children, including "Reading Seed" with one-to-one reading assistance for high-need students in K - 5th grades.


Make Way for Books

Tucson; Phoenix

A preschool reading program that provides young children (ages birth to 5) with access to books and language experiences necessary for school readiness. This organization in Southern Arizona has expanded to Phoenix. 


Read Better Be Better

A highly-structured afterschool reading comprehension program in elementary schools where older, trained students assist younger students to improve their reading skills. Middle school volunteers work one-on-one with 3rd graders who are at risk.


Read On Arizona


A public/private partnership of agencies, philanthropic organizations, and community stakeholders committed to improving language and literacy outcomes for children from birth through age eight, with strategic focus on school readiness and third-grade reading proficiency.


Creative Writing Contest

For several years, the Literary Society has supported students of Maryvale High School competing in a writing contest organized by their teacher and librarian, Jean Kilker. This year, seven students submitted short stories.

The $5,000 prize money was awarded as follows:

  • $3,000 to Cynthia, 12th grade
  • $500 to Noemi, 11th grade
  • $500 to Luis, 9th grade
  • $500 to Wendy, 11th grade
  • $150 each to the other three entries. The Grant Committee congratulates these talented, young writers and expresses so much gratitude to the Literary Society members who generously provided their time and careful consideration reviewing these essays.
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