Project Next Generation Illinois State Library
Eligibility • Awards • Program Requirements • Application Guidelines / Forms • Review Process • Questions?
Project Next Generation (PNG) offers grant funding to public libraries for establishing educational, "after-school" programs that not only provide access to computers, software and various technology devices, but also hire mentors who are crucial to helping students develop self-confidence and pride in their newly acquired skills.
PNG programs encourage personal growth and the educational development of at risk students through the use of mentors, technology and library based group projects. The goal of PNG is to bridge the digital divide by making recent technologies accessible to students who have limited access to computers. In a similar manner, the program strives to provide a safe and friendly environment filled with positive role models. The mentors involved with the program foster the development of self-confidence and pride in their students by helping them gain technical knowledge necessary for future educational and professional success.
The Illinois State Library will fund PNG programs statewide that support the following outcomes:
- Increase the confidence and personal growth of students as they achieve success through project based learning.
- Reinforce abilities and learning through technology based experiences for participating students who might not otherwise have access.
- Enhance the ability of students to deal with life experiences, become critical thinkers and prepare for the future.
- Public library agencies are eligible to apply.
- The applicant agency must have completed the 2018 Annual Certification and be recognized by the State Library as a full member in good standing of an Illinois library system.
Range of Awards and Funding Source
- Requests up to $40,000 will be considered. A fiscal year (FY) 2018 award for continuing projects averaged $12,500 with initial costs for new programs higher.
- Approximately $350,000 has been budgeted for this offering.
- Projects will be funded using Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds ( CFDA 45.310), provided to the State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
- PNG grant applications are being offered in advance of the provision of the state budget for FY 2019. The State Library makes these grant applications available so that award notification may be released when legislative and gubernatorial approval of an FY 2019 appropriation is made. Obligations to fund this grant program will cease immediately without penalty or further payment being required if the Illinois General Assembly or the federal funding source fails to appropriate or otherwise make available sufficient funds.
Public libraries must demonstrate the capacity to recruit mentors and engage participants in educational activities.
- The primary target audience must be students, within the age range of 10 to 18 years old, with the identified target audience and justified by local community need. Libraries are encouraged to recruit at risk students. Students may be at risk by not having home or school access to the technologies or programs the library proposes to offer. At risk participants may also reflect the many faces of diversity such as educational, cultural or language differences, social gaps, economic diversity or representation from different middle or high schools including homeschooled.
- Mentors are a critical PNG component, as they work directly with the students and guide them through activities. Mentors may be hired on contract specifically to plan and implement activities, or responsibility for the PNG program may be assigned to existing staff. Subject specialists may also be engaged to share expertise.
- Demonstrate how participants will be immersed in learning through hands on experiences with various technologies. Programming must be justified by the target audiences' needs and should enhance life skills, e.g., problem solving, creative or critical thinking, social skills. From robotics to photography, programming may increase knowledge and foster interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts. Activities may reinforce the school curriculum, concentrate on graduation requirements or college prep and thus improve participants' formal education. Previous PNG programs have found success by scheduling activities as "semesters" with consideration of the local school calendar.
- Successful applicants should address one of the following LSTA lifelong learning intents:
- Improve participants' general knowledge and skills.
- Improve participants' formal education with emphasis on curriculum support.
- Applications must be submitted via email to ISL_grants@ilsos.net with a time/date stamp before 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, 2018.
- The application must be submitted through the agency's administrative headquarters with only one application per agency.
- Applications must be submitted as a readable PDF. Please refer to the Instructions for Completing Fillable PDF Grant Forms below. Paper copies of the application will not be accepted. Scanned copies of grant applications are not allowed; and any applications that are not submitted on the required form will be eliminated from consideration for funding.
- Do not attach resumes.
- If extra space is necessary to answer any question, clearly label any attachment.
- Applicants that propose to use grant funds to purchase computers or pay for access to the Internet must comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) as required by LSTA. CIPA requires that libraries must 1) make a good faith effort to block visual depictions that are obscene, that are child pornography or that are harmful to minors; and 2) implement an Internet Safety Policy. If LSTA funds are budgeted to purchase computers or access the Internet, confirm compliance with CIPA in the Administrative Capacity section.
Application and Reporting Forms
- Grant Application Due May 1, 2018.
- Grant Reporting Forms
- Instructions for Completing Fillable PDF Grant Forms
- Library Data Entry Guidelines
Grants are awarded by the Secretary of State based on recommendations received from a Grant Review Committee following its review process.
The Project Next Generation grant program is competitive. Only complete applications from eligible public library agencies will be considered for funding. Each application must stand on its own merit and is evaluated based on the information provided in the application.
In addition to evaluation of the application content, meeting the criteria for library agencies eligible to apply, and the recommendations of the Review Committee, additional factors taken into consideration include:
- Availability of grant funds.
- Geographic distribution of the proposed grant awards.
Applications are funded that best meet the purpose of the grant offering and address Goal 2 of the LSTA Five Year Plan: Position the Illinois library community as an educational anchor by providing opportunities to support education, information fluency and lifelong learning.
Only the awarded grant applications shall be considered public information. Working papers, individual reviewer's comments, notes, and scores are not public information. A summary of the review comments will be shared with the applicant.
|May 1, 2018||Deadline to apply. Submit to ISL_grants@ilsos.net.|
|July 1, 2018||
Contracts begin. Activities and obligating grant funds may begin. Use of local funds may be necessary until the award check arrives; schedule activities accordingly.
A virtual grant management workshop will be scheduled after July 1, 2018 for all project directors.
|October 15, 2018||Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due.||January 15, 2019||Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due.|
|April 15, 2019||Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due.|
|June 30, 2019||Contracts end. Activities must conclude and all grant funds must be disbursed or obligated/encumbered.|
|July 15, 2019||Quarterly Financial and Narrative Report due.|
|August 15, 2019||Report due documenting disbursement of encumbered funds (if applicable).|
|August 30, 2019||LSTA Post Project Report due.|
- 20 U.S.C. Chapter 72, Subchapter II
- 2 C.F.R. § 200 OMB Uniform Guidance for Grants and Agreements
- 15 ILCS 320/7 (g)
- 23 Ill. Adm. Code 3035. Subpart G
Supporting LSTA Grant Documentation
- IMLS Guidance on Reaching Persons with Limited English Proficiency
- IMLS Guidance on Making Museums and Libraries More Accessible
- LSTA Funded Grants Administrative Manual
- LSTA Grant Web Page
- Post Instruction Survey of Learners
Program Impact in FY 2018Total Dollars Awarded
- $344,341 awarded to 25 public libraries.
Examples of PNG Projects
Project Next Generation – Teen Initiative Expands
The Mississippi Valley Library District engaged students in Collinsville and Fairmont City, helping them learn to use technology, develop skills in science, art and engineering, and think about new future careers. The participating 5th through 12th grade students were introduced to careers in STEM fields, learned creativity and critical thinking skills, and developed confidence in using technology to solve problems. The majority of participants came from low income households with limited access to technology. Students explored different technologies, which helped spark their interest in fields of study they may have previously thought to be unobtainable. As a direct result of their participation in the activities, participants grew more confident. In some cases, students shifted the focus of their high school studies to STEM courses with an eye toward future careers.
Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow
Through Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow, Chicago Ridge Public Library engaged 145 underserved, at-risk students in 5th through 12th grades. With this new programming, the library played an active role in promoting digital literacy and inclusion. Participants used photography equipment and software to create and edit photos. They learned to use a 3D printer and stop motion animation to create short stop animation videos. Students also created projects using an embroidery machine, sewing machine and serger. Many adult mentors worked actively with the students and initiated informal, frank conversations as they talked about life skills and learned from each other. By offering access to unique technologies and mentors, the library better served tweens and teens and helped them develop skills and enrich their personal growth.
For more information, please call 217-782-5506 or visit the Project Next Generation website.