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.

Meet past and current Teacher Fellows, as well as Selection Committee members, here.

PROGRAM DETAILS & ELIGIBILITY

Applications for the 2024/25 National Book Foundation Teacher Fellowship are now closed. Applications for 2025/26 will open in early February 2025, along with announcements of specific program dates and deadlines. 

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 (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, held in September, December, and March (exact dates TBD) from 7pm-9pm ET.
  • Watch the annual Teens Read the National Book Awards event 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
  • Share a 15-minute presentation about your project with the NBF Teacher Fellowship cohort
  • Submit a mid-program report in December and a final report in April
  • 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 (e.g., 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 in which Fellowship would start
  • Able to receive sign off from supervising principal (following conditional acceptance)

* School librarians are welcome to apply if they also have classroom teaching responsibilities and/or are designated a classroom teacher within their individual school/district

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 book from the corresponding year’s Longlist for Young People’s Literature into classroom curriculum.

Please note: The Longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature is announced annually in early September. 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 in any future year.

Questions? Please email Education Programs Manager Julianna Lee Marino: jleemarino@nationalbook.org

Applications for the 2024/25 National Book Foundation Teacher Fellowship are now closed. Applications for 2025/26 will open in early February 2025, along with announcements of specific program dates and deadlines.


APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

– Applications will be submitted via the online application system, which will be made available when applications are open
– Please be sure you carefully review the Program Details & Eligibility information before completing the application.

To help you prepare, 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 Longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature is announced in early September. 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 each 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.

2023/24 TEACHER FELLOWS    |   2023/24 SELECTION COMMITTEE

2023/24 NBF TEACHER FELLOWS


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Yesenia CaballeroYesenia Caballero
Churchill High School
San Antonio, TX
9th & 10th grade English Language Arts

 


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Danielle Carvil-DardeyDanielle Carvil-Dardey
Tapp Middle School
Powder Springs, GA
6th-8th grade Reading

 


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Tim FosterTimothy Foster
Oskaloosa High School
Oskaloosa, IA
9th-12th grade Spanish


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Ardis IversonArdis Iverson
George McGovern Middle School
Sioux Falls, SD
6th-8th grade Special Education
(Photo credit: Brianna Keogh)


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Carol JonesCarol Jones
Shawnee Middle School
Shawnee, OK
6th grade English Language Arts


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Larissa Pahomov.Larissa Pahomov
Science Leadership Academy
Philadelphia, PA
9th-12th grade English Language Arts


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Raquel Roynoso. (Photo credit R. Reynoso)Raquel Reynoso
Bronx Park Middle School
Bronx, NY
8th grade Social Studies


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow R Joseph RodriguezRodrigo Joseph Rodriguez
William Charles Akins Early College High School
Austin, TX
11th & 12th grade English Language Arts
(Photo credit: Philip Goetz)


2023/24 SELECTION COMMITTEE

Interested in helping the young people you work with love reading? Here you’ll find a collection of project descriptions of past NBF Teacher Fellows, along with suggested activities you can implement right away, recommended books, and other teaching advice.

All of NBF’s past Teacher Fellows are open to connecting with other educators—if there is a Fellow you’d like to connect with for further discussion or advice, please email info@nationalbook.org for an introduction.


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Yesenia Caballero

Yesenia Caballero

Churchill High School | San Antonio, TX

Developed for a sophomore-level English class, Yesenia’s project was a gamified approach to instruction that presented learning in terms of “missions” students must complete to demonstrate development and mastery of content skills. Students earned experience points with every completed mission, which were then used to buy prizes, gain access to secret or side missions, and to level players up. All missions were reading related, with some being main missions (required readings for class) and others being bonus or side missions (choice readings).

Click for a suggested activity and other advice from Yesenia. Read More


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Danielle Carvil-Dardey

Danielle Carvil-Dardey

Tapp Middle School | Powder Springs, GA

BLOOM (Brains Learning to Overcome Obstacles and Mountains) is an initiative to bring about a joy of reading to the most reluctant readers in the 6th-8th grade, while making connections to STEM-related ideas. Students engaged in collaborative activities that tapped into their background knowledge and creativity and built comprehension skills by focusing on texts of interest. This created a safe space for reading and helped the students to “blossom where they are planted.”

Click for a suggested activity and other advice from Danielle. Read More


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Tim Foster

Timothy Foster

Oskaloosa High School | Oskaloosa, IA

In upper-level Spanish classes, students read Spanish-language translations of books that appeared on the Longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Students read the books as part of Free Voluntary Reading and in Book Circles with peer discussion facilitated in Spanish. Later, students presented on the novels with one-minute spontaneous in-class book presentations.

Click for a suggested activity and other advice from Tim. Read More


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Ardis Iverson

Ardis Iverson

George McGovern Middle School | Sioux Falls, SD

6th-8th graders in a Reading Intervention class (mostly Special Education students) read novels to residents at assisted living facilities via Google Meet. The residents had their own copies of the books and would help students with unfamiliar words or understanding the meaning of a passage. Residents would sometimes read to the students, help them make connections with more difficult content, and provide ongoing encouragement and praise.

Click for a suggested activity and other advice from Ardis. Read More


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Carol Jones

Carol Jones

Shawnee Middle School | Shawnee, OK

Using a Book Club model, this project was designed to support 6th graders’ Guided Inquiry Research projects related to laws around Indian Removal and Indian Relocation. Prompted by past requests from students to create stories based on their research, this project helped students represent their findings in graphic novel format. Moreover, the Book Club helped increase interest in reading for all middle school grades by prioritizing student choice and building bridges through student discussion.

Click for a suggested activity and other advice from Carol. Read More


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Larissa Pahomov.

Larissa Pahomov

Science Leadership Academy | Philadelphia, PA

The Contemporary Fiction Book Club & Author Emulation Project puts upper-level high school English students in charge of their own reading in two phases. Students first select novels from a short list of contemporary titles, reading them in “book club” format by meeting twice a week in small groups. The group produces a final thematic presentation on the books, and then students transition into an individual “Author Emulation Project,” where they identify the literary techniques used in their independent reading book, analyzing those techniques and ultimately emulating the author’s style in a piece of flash fiction.

Click for a suggested activity and other advice from Larissa. Read More


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow Raquel Roynoso. (Photo credit R. Reynoso)

Raquel Reynoso

Bronx Park Middle School | Bronx, NY

As part of 8th grade social studies, works of historical fiction were matched with each unit—with historical contexts spanning from 1865 to the present. Students analyzed book covers and plot summaries for each book, completed graphic organizers to record their learning, then exercised choice by voting on which books interested them the most.

Click for a suggested activity and other advice from Raquel. Read More


2023 NBF Teacher Fellow R Joseph Rodriguez

Rodrigo Joseph Rodriguez

William Charles Akins Early College High School | Austin, TX

The goal of Rod’s project was to create “bookjoy,” a term coined by author and poet Pat Mora, and promote the pleasure and power of reading in the lives of young people. 11th and 12th grade English Language Arts students were, quite simply, invited to read—an invitation supplemented with personal book recommendations, student-run book clubs, and book-themed video chats.

Click for a suggested activity and other advice from Rod. Read More

 

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