ALSC/Candlewick Press "Light the Way" Grant

Current Light the Way Grant Winner
Previous Light the Way Grant Winners


The ALSC/Candlewick Press "Light the Way" Grant is sponsored by Candlewick Press in honor of author Kate DiCamillo and the themes represented in her books. The award consists of a $3,000 grant to assist a library in conducting exemplary and replicable outreach to underserved populations through a new and innovative program or an expansion of work already being done. The grant is administered by the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee (LSUCTC) of the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

Eligible Ideas

The ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way” Grant is open to any project that seeks to engage an underserved population of children from birth up to the age of 14. Special population children may include (but are not limited to) those who have learning or physical differences, those who are speaking English as a second language, those who are in a non-traditional school environment, those who are in non-traditional family settings (such as teen parents, foster children, children in the juvenile justice system, and children in gay and lesbian families), and those who need accommodation service to meet their needs.

The grant recognizes that underserved populations vary from community to community, and all programs that seek to specifically address concerns in this area are eligible for consideration.

Selection Criteria

The ALSC Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee will select the winner of this award based on an application process. The committee will use a standardized weighted rubric that evaluates each project on innovation, impact, need, planning, outcomes, and sustainability.

Reporting Requirements

This grant requires two reports: a progress report due June 30 and a final report due on September 15. Pictures, anecdotes, and data are encouraged. Additionally, the grant recipient will be responsible for writing a blog post to be posted to the ALSC blog as part of the marketing cycle for the next round of the grant. 

How to apply

The ALSC Library Service to Underserved Children and their Caregivers committee willl begin accepting online applications for the 2020 ALSC/Candlewick Press "Light the Way" Grant in summer 2020!

Applications and supporting materials, including the required Signature Form, will be due by December 1, 2020.

Please do not fill out and submit the application until you have all the necessary materials to complete your application.

  • If you have questions about your application, please reach out to the chairs of the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee, Joe Prince and Erin Lovelace, at
  • If you would like to review the application before submitting electronically, please refer to the sample application form.

Announcement of winners

Winners will be announced via a press release on the ALSC website in February/March.

Committee Resources

Light the Way Grant Committee Manual PDF