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AZ Reads – K-12 Literacy Initiative

Arizona Humanities believes that building strong literacy skills at an early age is essential for building a just and civil society.

About AZ Reads

With special funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Arizona Humanities introduces AZ Reads, a new initiative to launch innovative and engaging literacy programs in K-12 schools in Arizona. AZ Reads provides support for literacy programs led by Arizona educators in partnership with K-12 schools and nonprofits that serve Arizona schools. Read more about our 2022-23 K-12 program partners in the press release here

Support AZ Reads

Arizona Humanities provides books, program supplies, author visits, and more, for Arizona students. Interested in supporting AZ Reads and youth literacy across Arizona? 

Donate Here


Contact Julianne Cheng at jcheng@azhumanities.org | Samantha Anderson at sanderson@azhumanities.org | 602-257-0335


Call for Proposals

Applications for the 2024-25 academic year will open on Feb. 1, 2024

We invite programs proposals that foster literacy in the humanities, including but not limited to  

  • Reading and discussion programs
  • Storytelling and creative writing
  • Peer-to-peer learning and discussion
  • Cultural learning/sharing  

We especially encourage program proposals that incorporate active engagement with students through opportunities for discussion and reflection. Literacy programs can incorporate history, cultural studies, languages other than English, and other humanities disciplines. We will also accept proposals that combine humanities and STEAM disciplines. If you are unsure about whether your program fosters literacy and engages the humanities, please contact us

We welcome program proposals from teachers in any discipline, school librarians, and administrators. See eligibility below. Literacy programs can target a specific group, class, grade, school, or district.

Arizona Humanities will work with K-12 partners to ensure the success of the literacy programs. We will communicate with K-12 partners regarding the progress of a program and provide support as needed, e.g., inviting guest authors, ordering books, etc. At the conclusion of the program, staff will reach out for a final follow-up to assess impact outcomes via email or phone. 

The deadline for the 2023-24 funding period is closed. Applications for the 2024-25 academic year will open on February 1, 2024.


Apply Online


Virtual Info Session

Contact Us

Eligibility: K-12 institutions and nonprofits that serve K-12 institutions that provide humanities-based literacy programs.

Funding Priorities: Special consideration will be given to programs in public schools, especially Title I schools and those that directly serve traditionally underserved communities. Underserved communities include Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities (e.g., IEP/504); ELL students; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

How Funding Is Disbursed: Arizona Humanities will directly cover program costs unless otherwise agreed upon with the K-12 partner. For example, we will disburse honoraria to guest speakers, pay admissions fees, purchase program supplies, which can include but are not limited to:

  • Books
  • Paper, posters, scissors, miscellaneous craft supplies, etc.
  • Audio/visual technology

Amount: Up to $2,500*
*For larger or school-wide programs, please contact us to discuss an adjusted budget.

Application Opens : February 1, 2024

Deadline for Submissions: March 15, 2024

Funding Period: June 1, 2024 – June 1, 2025

Check back for the 2024 Call for Proposals.

To submit a proposal: Please submit your program proposal through our online application, available on February 1, 2024.

2023 Application Closed

The online application requires the following:

  • Brief School Bio
  • Program Description
  • Timeline
  • Budget Narrative*

Once a proposal is submitted Arizona Humanities staff may reach out to discuss details or ask clarifying questions. Please note that this is a competitive process, and not every program will be funded.

Deadline for submissions: March 15, 2024

*Arizona Humanities staff will review program budgets to determine items eligible for funding. Activities that are not eligible for support include the following:

  • Overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application(s) for federal funding and/or approved federal awards
  • Standard curriculum costs and materials
  • Cancellation costs
  • Equipment costs in excess of 20% of total project costs
  • Construction, purchase of real property, major alteration and renovation
  • Environmental sustainability projects (water way clean-up)
  • Collections acquisition
  • The preservation, organization, or description of materials that are not regularly accessible for research, education, or public programming
  • Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view
  • Advocacy of a particular program of social or political action
  • Support of specific public policies or legislation
  • Lobbying

Virtual Info Session: TBD

Application Opens: February 1, 2024

Deadline for Submissions: March 15, 2024

Funding Period: June 1, 2024 – June 1, 2025

Info Session: Learn more about AZ Reads in our 2023 virtual info session: Recording Here. Check back for more information about the 2024 virtual info session.

Have questions?

Julianne Cheng, jcheng@azhumanities.org, 602-257-0335 x 26

Samantha Anderson, sanderson@azhumanities.org, 602-257-0335 x 25

Who we are: Arizona Humanities is a statewide nonprofit organization and the Arizona affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1973, Arizona Humanities has supported public programs that promote understanding of the human experience with cultural, educational, and nonprofit organizations across Arizona.