Guidelines | Application

SMIF’s Literacy Grant Program is designed to support early literacy efforts that enhance school readiness for children birth to age 5 by providing children with books. Organizations working with these children are encouraged to apply for books to be given to families to keep and read to their children. The Literacy Grant Program receives books through partnerships with Mankato-based publishing companies, ABDO and Capstone.

Learn about the origins of this grant program: Capstone - SMIF's First Book Partner


  • Application deadline: April 16, 2019
  • Grant awards made: May 10, 2019
  • Book Pick Up Day: June 20, 2019


For grant award consideration, submit a completed application by April 16, 2019 via email to or postal mail to:

Grants Coordinator
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation
PO Box 695
Owatonna, MN 55060


For questions about what SMIF might fund contact Teri Steckelberg, Early Childhood Director, at 507.214.7015 or email at

For questions about the application process or required documentation contact Jennifer Heien, Grants Coordinator, at 507.214.7040 or

2018 Grant Recipients

About ABDO

ABDO has been a leader in children’s educational publishing for school and public libraries since 1985, providing high quality nonfiction and fiction titles for children and young adults in grades PreK–12. The company is known throughout the industry for its excellence in both reading materials and customer service. ABDO titles are available in reinforced library bindings as well as digital products, including multi-use eBooks, Read-to-Me eBooks, and Databases. To learn more about ABDO please visit

About Capstone

Capstone is a leading publisher of children's books in nonfiction and fiction, digital products and services and literacy programs. Capstone's content comes in a variety of print and digital formats including board books, picture books, interactive books, apps, audio and databases. Imprints under Capstone include Capstone Press, Stone Arch Books, Picture Window Books, Heinemann Raintree and Compass Point Books. For more information, visit


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