National Book Foundation Teacher Fellowship

The National Book Foundation (NBF) Teacher Fellowship supports and celebrates 6th-12th grade teachers using innovative methods to make reading for pleasure a part of their students’ school day experience. The NBF Teacher Fellowship aims to:

  • Support classroom activities that have a direct impact on the development of students as lifelong readers
  • Celebrate and highlight creative and effective models for independent reading instruction
  • Connect more young people with great literature through National Book Award-honored titles

As part of the Fellowship, teachers develop or continue an initiative that promotes reading for pleasure in their classroom, incorporate National Book Award-honored titles into their curriculum, and collaborate with other Fellows through participation in a professional learning community, including an in-person convening in New York City.

Applications for the 2024/25 National Book Foundation Teacher Fellowship are now closed.

Notifications will be sent in May. If you have any questions, please reach out to Deputy Director Jordan Smith at jsmith@nationalbook.org.

To learn more about the 2023/24 NBF Teacher Fellows, as well as the Selection Committee, please click here.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Deputy Director Jordan Smith at jsmith@nationalbook.org.

Resources

If selected as a Fellow, you will receive: 

  • A $3,000 stipend upon completion of the program
  • A $2,000 book buying & shipping budget
  • Participation in a professional learning community with other Fellows, as well as professional authors, National Book Foundation staff, and others.
  • Round-trip economy airfare, two nights of hotel accommodations, and a daily travel stipend to attend the final in-person cohort meeting and the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 celebration in May 2025 (exact date TBD; Fellows located locally in NYC or tri-state area will be provided with alternate travel accommodations, as appropriate).

Note: other than the May convening in NYC, all cohort activities will take place virtually.

Expectations

If selected as a Fellow, you are expected to:

  • Attend all virtual cohort convenings (see Program Timeline below)
  • Watch the 2024 National Book Award Teen Press Conference on November 19, 2024 with a group of students (livestreamed, recorded, or in-person if local to NYC)
  • Attend a one day in-person convening in NYC in May 2025 (date TBD)
  • Share a 15-minute presentation about your project with the NBF Teacher Fellowship cohort
  • Submit a mid-program report in December 2024 and a final report in April 2025
  • Ensure that books purchased as part of the program become property of participating Fellow and/or participating students; Fellow must notify NBF if changing schools mid-project
  • Provide NBF with materials (eg, photos, videos, quotes) to support NBF Teacher Fellowship-related marketing efforts as requested
  • Maintain regular and timely email communication with National Book Foundation staff

Eligibility

Applicant

  • 6th-12th grade classroom teacher currently working in a US-based public school
  • Beginning their 3rd year of teaching (or more) by fall 2024
  • Able to receive sign off from supervising principal (following conditional acceptance)

Project

In line with the overall goals of the NBF Teacher Fellowship, proposed projects should:

  • Make reading for pleasure a part of students’ school day experience
  • Include classroom activities that positively impact students’ development as lifelong readers
  • Model creative and effective approaches to independent reading instruction
  • Connect more young people with National Book Award-honored titles, and specifically, incorporate at least one 2024 National Book Award Longlisted book into classroom curriculum.

Please note: The 2024 Longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature will be announced in early September 2024. Thus, your application does not need to reference these yet-announced titles, but rather should reflect the types of books that your project might incorporate and how you will create a connection to the National Book Awards for your students.

Additionally:

  • Activities must be offered at no financial cost to participating students

NBF welcomes creative, innovative, and diverse approaches to engaging students with reading for pleasure during the school day; the National Book Foundation aims to support the excellent work of teachers, and therefore is not providing a prescriptive approach to projects. In your application, you should be sure to clearly explain how your project meets the overall goals of the NBF Teacher Fellowship, as outlined above, and articulate why it’s an effective approach for your students.

If you have applied in a previous year but were not selected as a Teacher Fellow, you are eligible to reapply this year, or in any future year.

Key Dates

APPLICATIONS

  • Thursday, February 1, 2024: Applications open
  • Thursday, February 29, 2024, 8pm ET: Applications close
  • May 2024: Notifications

PROGRAM

Program runs throughout the 2024/25 school year, September through June. All dates subject to change at the discretion of NBF. Selected Fellows will receive a full, detailed schedule of activities and deadlines upon acceptance.

  • September 25, 2024, 7pm-9pm ET: Cohort Meeting #1
  • November 19, 2024, Fellows and their students participate in National Book Awards Teen Press Conference (virtually or in-person)
  • December 4, 2024, 7pm-9pm ET: Cohort Meeting #2
  • March 5, 2025, 7pm-9pm ET: Cohort Meeting #3
  • May 2025, date TBD: NYC convening (Cohort Meeting #4 & 5 Under 35 Celebration)

Applications for the 2024/25 National Book Foundation Teacher Fellowship are now closed.

Notifications will be sent in May. If you have any questions, please reach out to Deputy Director Jordan Smith at jsmith@nationalbook.org.


APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

– Applications for the 2024/25 National Book Foundation Teacher Fellowship are now open.
– Deadline for application submission is February 29, 2024 at 8pm ET.
– Applications will be submitted via the online application system.
– Please be sure you carefully review the Program Details & Eligibility information before completing the application.

Application components include:

1. Basic contact information

2. A brief personal statement that describes yourself and your relationship to books and reading, both as an individual and as an educator (500 words max)

3. Basic school and student information, including:

– A narrative description of the student body (250 words max)
– Contact information for supervising principal

4. Proposed project details, including:

– A high-level, external-facing summary (100 words max)
– A narrative description (1000 words max) that addresses the following points

– How does your project promote reading for pleasure?
– What is the basic structure / approach of your project?
– What is your book selection process?
– How will you incorporate a connection to the National Book Awards?

The application will also ask:

– Does your project meet your grade level’s Common Core ELA standard 10 for Reading Literature?
– How will books be used (classroom copies, home ownership by students, etc.)?
– 3-5 sample titles your proposed project will incorporate

5. Optional sections

a. Any additional information not captured in the application that you feel is pertinent to understanding your proposed project (250 words max)

b. Demographic survey. Across activities, the National Book Foundation strives to build an inclusive culture that respects diverse perspectives in all our work. To further such efforts, it is encouraged (though not required) for applicants to fill out the optional demographic survey section of the NBF Teacher Fellowship application.

A note about sample titles and the National Book Awards: The 2024 Longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature will be announced in early September 2024. Thus, your application does not need to reference these yet-announced titles, but rather should reflect the types of books that your project might incorporate and how you will create a connection to the National Book Awards for your students.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Applications will be reviewed by an external Selection Committee of teachers, writers, and other experts in the fields of literary and educational youth programming who will rank applications and identify a pool of finalists. This pool will then be vetted collaboratively by the Selection Committee and NBF staff in order to select the cohort of Fellows. If a consensus is not reached, NBF staff reserves the right to make final decisions on cohort selection.

The National Book Foundation expects to be able to support eight Fellows during the 2024/25 school year.

NBF welcomes creative, innovative, and diverse approaches to engaging students with reading for pleasure during the school day; the National Book Foundation aims to support the excellent work of teachers, and therefore is not providing a prescriptive approach to projects. In your application, you should be sure to clearly explain how your project meets the overall goals of the NBF Teacher Fellowship and articulate why it’s an effective approach for your students.

Selection Committee members will be asked to consider the following when reviewing applications:

– Does the submitted project clearly support students in reading for pleasure?
– Does the applicant provide a clear articulation of the project’s structure, implementation, and feasibility?
– Does the project align with and support the National Book Foundation’s larger work and mission, including the goal of reaching readers who experience barriers to accessing books and reading?
– How does the individual project fit into the larger cohort in terms of representation of grade level, subject area, geographic, and other demographic diversity?

Please keep in mind that applicants/projects will be selected based on their individual merits and as part of a larger cohort.

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