Innovative Reading Grant

Sponsored by CapstoneHome

Monetary Amount: $2,500

Deadline: The application for this award is currently closed.  The next award cycle will open on September 1, 2024, and will close on February 1, 2025. 


The AASL Innovative Reading Grant supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for K-9th learners which motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers.


Applicant must be personal member of AASL.


All applications for the grant will be judged against the following criteria:

  1. This award is for a successful reading project that demonstrates the potential to improve reading in K-9th learners. The project or reading program should promote the importance of reading, facilitate the learners' literacy development, and be supported by current reading research, practice, and policy.
  2. The potential to measure and evaluate the impact and reading improvement for its learners.

  3. Reading program must be specifically designed for learners (grades K-9) in the school library setting.

  4. Program must encourage innovative ways to motivate and involve learners in reading. Existing commercial programs will not be considered.

  5. Project should demonstrate potential to impact student learning, especially reading.

  6. Originality of project and methodology.

  7. Potential for replication of the program should be apparent.

  8. Demonstration of the ability of the applicant(s) to undertake and successfully complete the project.

  9. A project plan that includes a timeline, budget, and clarity of purpose.

  10. Research should be evidence-based and scholarly in nature.

  11. Rankings based on a rubric that correlates with the ratings sheet.

  12. The grant recipient may be invited to present a program at a future AASL National Conference after the study has been completed and the results known.

  13. The grant recipient may be invited to write an article for Knowledge Quest that delineates their reading incentive project and demonstrate their successes, trials, and recommendations for improving so others can replicate the project.

Download Criteria & Rating Sheets pdf icon

Download Copy of Application 

* Please note: This downloadable version is for informational purposes only. All applications must be submitted online, via the Apply Now button that will appear at the top of the page when the next award season opens in early September.


Allison Cline email icon
Deputy Executive Director


Year Recipient School
2024 Wendy Gassaway Alder Elementary School
Portland, Oregon

"I am so grateful to Capstone and AASL for awarding me the Innovative Reading Grant. By putting low-tech audiobooks in students’ hands, I will be able to reach a wider range of readers and get kids connected to stories that offer both windows and mirrors. I am excited to see how students who have felt disengaged from literacy build confidence and stamina in this format. All reading counts, and each reader deserves a good book!"

2023 Charlotte Chung Suncrest Elementary School
Morgantown, West Virginia
2022 Samantha Archibald Mora Wood River Middle School
Hailey, Idaho
2021 Karen Snay South Elementary School
St. Peter, Minnesota
2020 Stefanie Throndson New Hampton Elementary
New Hampton, Iowa
2019 Susan Gauthier East Baton Rouge Parish (Louisiana) Schools
2018 Judy Deichman Nottoway Middle School
Crewe, Virginia
2017 Alison Kirkpatrick
River Road High School
Amarillo, Texas
2016 Andrea Catania-Stephenson
El Camino Fundamental High School
Sacramento, California
2015 Clarice Marchena
Dos Puentes Elementary School
Manhattan, New York
2014 Christina Genay
Quarles Elementary School
Winchester, Virginia
2013 Panagiotis Stathopoulos de Paul School
Louisville, Kentucky
2012 Kristine Klopp
Lindbergh Elementary School
Madison, Wisconsin
2011 Shanna Miles Tech High School
Atlanta, Georgia
2010 Myra Oleynik
Bower Hill Elementary School
Venetia, Pennsylvania
2009 Cathleen Friedmann
Metairie Park Country Day School
Metairie, Louisiana
2008 Barbara Powell-Schager
Big Shanty Intermediate School
Kennesaw, Georgia
2007 Nancy Baumann
Barnett Shoals Elementary School
Athens, Georgia