2023 marked the first year in operation for the SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund, the charitable arm of the SCBWI. We’re so proud of what we accomplished this year and we wanted to take some time to celebrate the good we’ve done as a community.
Our $1,500 monthly microgrants are our core program and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the 2023 recipients.
This year we distributed over $6,000 worth of banned books to school librarians at Title I schools across the country through our quarterly School Librarians Mini Library grant program, spearheaded by ILF committee member and novelist Federico Erebia.
In 2023, we established a yearly scholarship of $1,500 with the Highlights for Children Foundation, supporting children’s book creators from communities that have historically been excluded. We also worked with the Latinx KidLit Book Festival to support their debut authors program. We provided three debut Latinx authors with a stipend to conduct a school visit, and connected them with seasoned writers who have mastered the art of the school visit.
As an organization with a global mission, it was critical to partner with children’s book organizations from around the world. With Bookdash we produced two brand new picture books and translated them into South Africa’s 11 indigenous languages. We also partnered with Book Arsenal, a yearly book fair in Kiev, Ukraine, to support the establishment of a children’s book program.
Additionally, the ILF is committed to responding to real crises as they arise in the wider children’s book community. As such, we donated $1,500 to Pride and Less Prejudice, an organization that gets age-appropriate LGBTQ+ books into kids’ hands, and another $1,500 to relief for Hawaiian elementary school teachers who lost their classrooms in the devastating Maui wildfires.
All in all, we’re deeply proud of the impact we’ve had this year through our diverse, effective microgrants program.
This year, the ILF gave out two fantastic awards—the Russell Freedman Award for Nonfiction for a Better World and the Stephen Fraser Encouragement Fund—to exciting, worthy children’s book creators and established a brand new award—the Charlotte and Wilbur Award for Compassion for Animals, generously funded by children's book author Karen Winnick. We will be announcing the winners of the 2023 cycle of these awards early in 2024. For those interested, you don't need a SCBWI membership to apply for Impact and Legacy Fund awards. They're open to all.
Children's Book Changemakers Program
2023 also saw our first ever Children’s Book Changemakers program, hosted live on Zoom. Attended by over 1,200 people, this program featured a keynote by civil rights activist and author Ruby Bridges, a conversation with Henry Winkler on the importance of representing learning challenges in kid’s books, a reading by Tami Charles, and so much more. We plan to host more live, free programs like this in 2024. ike all ILF programs, our live events are open to all. No SCBWI membership required.
Partnership with NCAC
2023 saw the continuation of our rich partnership with the National Coalition Against Censorship. We supported their Student Activists for Speech (SAS) program, which trains high schoolers to challenge book banning in their schools. As a part of the Changemakers program, we connected teen free speech activists with banned authors for a riveting conversation about the importance of challenging reading material in education and self-expression. For 2024, we've doubled the size of the SAS cohort, who are hard at work creating video PSAs on the importance of free speech, and the freedom to read. Those videos will be presented for free to our whole community in the spring.
In November of 2023 we released our first Legacy Interview with the legendary Jane Yolen. Jane’s hour-long interview digs deep into the art and craft of origin picture books. It’s incredibly insightful, and chock full of practical advice. You can watch it on SCBWI’s website.
For Giving Tuesday 2022, we partnered with Little Free Library to support their Read in Color program. We raised over $3,000. In 2023, we partnered with the Owyhee Combined School on the Shoshone-Paiute Duck Valley Indian Reservation to stock their brand new school library. With your help, we more than doubled our Giving Tuesday contribution, clocking in at a stupendous $7,500. Every single dollar will go to buying books for Owyhee Combined students.
It’s been an incredible year, and we couldn’t do it without all of you. We are grateful every day to be part of such a vibrant, thoughtful, and passionate community. Thank you so much, everyone, for supporting the SCBWI Impact and Legacy Fund.
Lin and Moira
Managing Director, Impact and Legacy Fund
Program and Communications Manager, Impact and Legacy Fund