Prime Time Family Reading Time Grants, Deadline May 15

For all new PRIME TIME Family Reading Time® programs, the Michigan Humanities Council will provide $9,000 to selected libraries to cover the majority of program expenses. Any public library system in the state of Michigan is eligible to apply to host a six-week PRIME TIME® series. A library system must commit to hosting a minimum of three PRIME TIME® series over a two-year period.

Deadline: May 15, 2012 for July 2012 training

Details on the Prime Time program are provided below:

The Michigan Humanities Council works with public libraries and public schools across the state to host PRIME TIME Family Reading Time® programs. PRIME TIME® is a six-week program of reading, discussion and storytelling that targets families of non-active library users. The program features award-winning children’s literature to stimulate discussion about humanities themes and issues encountered in everyday life. Since 2008, more than 6,700 Michigan children and parents have participated in PRIME TIME®.

Each session is 90 minutes and includes the reading of up to three books by a storyteller, followed by facilitated discussion with a humanities scholar. Programs typically serve 20 to 25 families comprised of parents and children ages 6-12 with separate pre-reading activities planned for children 5 and under. Programs may be presented in English or as a bilingual Spanish/English program.

  •     Bond families around the act of reading and learning together;
  •     Reinforce the role of family;
  •     Encourage parents and children to read and discuss the humanities topics raised in the books;
  •     Help parents and children become active library users; and
  •     Highlight the importance of the library in local community and daily life.

PRIME TIME® is offered by the Michigan Humanities Council in cooperation with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Library Association, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation – W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and additional corporate and private sponsors.
Who May Host a Program?

Any public library system or public school library in the state of Michigan is eligible to apply to host a six-week PRIME TIME® series. A library system or public school library must commit to hosting a minimum of three PRIME TIME® series over a two-year period. The second and third series may occur in the same library or at another library within the same system.

As of September 2011, there are 19 Michigan libraries who are hosting or have hosted the program through the Michigan Humanities Council. Those libraries are: Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library (Alpena), Cass District Library (Cassopolis), Charlevoix Public Library, Detroit Public Library – Campbell (Detroit), Detroit Public Library – Conley (Detroit), Hackley Public Library (Muskegon), Hamtramck Public Library (Hamtramck), Harper Woods Public Library (Harper Woods), Highland Twp. Public Library (Highland), Hoyt Public Library of the Saginaw Public Libraries (Saginaw), Jackson District Library – Carnegie Branch (Jackson), Lenawee County Library – Main Branch (Adrian), Loutit District Library (Grand Haven), Monroe County Library System – Navarre Branch (Monroe), Peter White Public Library (Marquette), Saginaw Butman Fish Library (Saginaw), South Haven Memorial Library, Stair Public Library (Morenci), and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Library (Mt. Pleasant.)
How Much Does PRIME TIME® Cost?

For all new PRIME TIME® programs, the Council will provide $9,000 to the library to cover the majority of program expenses. These expenses include a two-day mandatory training session for the library coordinator, scholar and storyteller in New Orleans, stipends for the scholar and storyteller, and a portion of the book costs. If your library has previously hosted PRIME TIME®, mini grants will be available up to $2,000. The library must provide a budget, which includes cash and in-kind cost share, to cover the remainder of the book costs as well as miscellaneous program expenses that will vary by site.
Additional Host Library Requirements:

  •     Identify a library coordinator who will attend a two-day training session in New Orleans along with a program scholar and storyteller (team responsibilities);
  •     Order and catalog program books from an approved PRIME TIME® syllabus;
  •     Promote PRIME TIME® according to Council guidelines and recruit 20-25 families;
  •     Provide credit to the Council in all promotional materials;
  •     Arrange for family transportation to and from the program as needed;
  •     Provide adequate space for meals/snacks, the PRIME TIME reading and discussion, and preschool activities;
  •     Provide a weekly five-minute “library commercial” to introduce families to additional library programs and  resources;
  •     Organize staff and resources for weekly preschool activities (a manual of suggested readings/activities is provided at the training in New Orleans);
  •     Issue library cards to all participating families;
  •     Complete and submit required reports to the Council upon conclusion of the program
  •     Administer and compile required participant surveys including entry, exit, and 90-day follow-up surveys;
  •     Provide cash and/or in-kind support for program costs not covered by Council funds;
  •     Present award certificates and gift books to families at program’s end.

Responsibilities of the Michigan Humanities Council

  •     Provide staff support and technical assistance regarding PRIME TIME®
  •     Act as intermediary between the library and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
  •     Assist in promotion and securing printed promotional materials
  •     Conduct site visits and program evaluation
  •     Assist library in identifying an appropriate scholar and storyteller as needed
  •     Write proposals for future funding
  •     Provide 30 reusable book bags
  •     Pay the required partnership fee to Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities ($500/site)

How your library can apply to host PRIME TIME®

Please submit a one-page letter of interest to the attention of Robin Soergel, Education Programs and Outreach Officer (, phone: 517-372-7770) to be considered. For new PRIME TIME® sites, please consider the following in the letter of interest:

Name of the library/system;
Community demographics supporting need for PRIME TIME® in your area;
Examples of prior literacy and/or reading and discussion family programs hosted by your library;
Partnering agencies that could assist your library to recruit non-library-using families and volunteer support.
Submit a proposed budget

Prime Time Family Reading Time Grants, Deadline May 15

Farm Market Grants, Deadline May 21

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the availability of approximately $10 million in competitive grant funds in fiscal year (FY) 2012 to be awarded through the Famers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). The FMPP competitive program is administered by the Marketing Grants and Technical Services Branch (MGTSB), Marketing Services Division (MSD) of AMS and is designed to promote the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities.

The minimum FY2012 FMPP award per grant is $5,000 and the maximum is $100,000. An applicant is limited to no more than one grant in a grant-funding year. FMPP funding will be available for use beginning in October 2012. Project work should begin in October 2012 and end not later than October 2014. Matching funds are not required.

 Eligible applicants include:

1. Agricultural Cooperative. A group-owned or member-owned entity or business that provides, offers, or sells agricultural products or services for the mutual benefit of the members thereof.

2. Producer Network. A producer group- or member-owned organization or business that provides, offers, or sells agricultural products or services through a common distribution system for the mutual benefit of the members thereof.

3. Producer Associations. An organization or other business that assists or serves, represents, or serves producers or a producer network.

4. Local Government. – Any unit of local government within a State, including a county, borough, municipality, city, town, township, parish, local public authority, special district, school district, intrastate district, council of governments, and any other instrumentality of local government.

5. Nonprofit Corporation. Any organization or institution, including nonprofits with State or IRS 501 (c) status and accredited institutions of higher education, where no part of the net earnings of which inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

6. Public Benefit Corporation. A corporation organized to construct or operate a public improvement, the profits from which inure to the benefit of a State(s) or to the people thereof.

7. Economic Development Corporation. An organization whose mission is the improvement, maintenance, development and/or marketing or promotion of a specific geographic area.

8. Regional Famers Market Authority. An entity that establishes and enforces regional, State, or county policies and jurisdiction over State, regional, or county, farmers markets.

9. Tribal Government. A governing body or a governmental agency of any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community (including any native village as defined in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 85 Stat. 688 (43 U.S.C. § 1602)) certified by the Secretary of the Interior as eligible for the special programs and services provided through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Contact us for more details!

Farm Market Grants, Deadline May 21

Stop by and say hi at the Small Business Showcase this Wednesday!

We’re very happy to say that we’re a TC Chamber 2012 Small Business of the Year nominee. We hope you’ll take a minute this Wednesday afternoon (5:30-7:30 pm) to stop by the Hagerty Center and say hi. Admission is free and you can get a look at the other great nominees as well.

We hope to see you there!

In the meantime, today’s featured grant is the Farm to School program.

The MI Farm to School Grant Program awards Michigan K-12 schools/districts with funds ($2,000 maximum each) to plan for or implement farm to school programs. With funding from the WK Kellogg Foundation, this program is coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, formerly the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems. The application period for the second grant year (September 1, 2012 – June 1, 2013) is now open! Applications are due by 5 pm EST on Friday, May 4, 2012.

  • The MI Farm to School Planning Grant helps K-12 schools and Pre-K programs plan for integrating fresh, local foods into cafeterias AND ultimately develop a Farm to School Action Plan to implement a farm to school program.

    Examples of ways funding may be used include but are not limited to the following:

    • Meeting expenses for gathering farmers, food service professionals, students, parents, community members, etc.
    • Trainings/learning opportunities (i.e. fresh food prep, knife skills, seasonal menu planning, etc.) in addition to those required for grantees
    • Fees associated with attending conferences related to farm to school, local agriculture, food systems, etc.
    • Costs associated with co-learning opportunities, student engagement, school wellness committee engagement, etc.
    • Purchase of kitchen or cafeteria equipment (up to $500) to help prepare and serve fresh, local produce
  • The MI Farm to School Implementation Grant helps schools put existing farm to school plans into action AND ultimately develop a Farm to School Sustainability Plan to keep a farm to school program going and growing in future years.

    Examples of ways funding may be used include but are not limited to the following:

    • Purchase of kitchen or cafeteria equipment, resources or materials that will help to increase the use of local foods in the school food service program
    • Purchase of fresh, local food products to use in the school food service program
    • Costs associated with co-learning opportunities, student engagement, school wellness committee engagement, etc.
    • Marketing materials for fresh, local foods in school cafeterias (i.e. posters, line tags, etc.)
    • On-going training or learning opportunities for food service staff to utilize fresh, local foods


  • The school food service program must have at least 50% free and reduced-price meal enrollment at the time this application is completed. A goal of this program is to help vulnerable children find more local, healthy food choices in school meals programs.
  • Only school food service/nutrition directors can apply for their school district(s) or school(s). Food service directors from a school district may choose to focus on a few school buildings or an entire school district’s food service program, but the district must have 50% free and reduced price meal enrollment. Private or charter schools may apply as an individual school.
  • Only one application for either the planning or implementation grant (not both) is allowed per pre-K program, school or district per grant year.
  • Pre-K and early childcare programs are eligible only for planning grants. The program must be eligible to receive Tier 1 reimbursement rates for at least 50% of program participants (as indicated by current Child and Adult Care Food Program eligibility) to apply. Private or charter school and early childcare programs servicing children from birth-5 may apply as individual grantees. Childcare programs solely contracting with a school/district for all meals programs must apply in partnership with the school/district food service/nutrition director.

Contact us for more details!

Stop by and say hi at the Small Business Showcase this Wednesday!

ORV Trail Grants, Deadline May 1

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that the 2012-13 off-road vehicle (ORV) trail grant applications are available to public agencies and non-profit incorporated clubs and organizations.

Applications are available (from the ORV Trail Improvement Fund) for grants to maintain existing designated state ORV trails, routes and use areas; repair public lands damaged by inappropriate ORV use; and develop new ORV trails, routes and use areas. Grant funds also are available to pay for liability insurance, leases or easements.

“We currently have 30 dedicated trail sponsors that maintain more than 3,600 miles of state-designated ORV trails and routes statewide,” said Steve Kubisiak, DNR recreation and trails program coordinator. “We depend on these partnerships to maintain the trails, and encourage participation from all user organizations and other public agencies to help us maintain Michigan’s great ORV trail system.”

Grant applications are prioritized to address existing trail maintenance and restoration needs on public land. New trail, route and scramble area development proposals will also be considered.

Applications must be submitted by May 1, 2012. The ORV Trail Improvement Fund is a restricted fund, made possible by using 100 percent of ORV user fees, to support the program for trail maintenance and development, resource damage restoration and law enforcement.

ORV Trail Grants, Deadline May 1