School libraries are invited to apply for a $5,000 award recognizing outstanding humanities programming in kindergarten through eighth grade, the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office announced.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nominations for the 2020 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming  will remain open until July 15, 2020, and virtual program submissions are encouraged. The original deadline was May 4.
Applications, award guidelines and a list of previous winners are available at www.ala.org/jaffarian .
School libraries, public or private, that serve K-8 students are eligible. Nominated programs must have taken place during the current school year (2019-20). Programs that are still in progress as of the award deadline are eligible, and libraries are encouraged to self-nominate.
Eligible humanities programs may be focused in many subject areas, including social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign language and culture. Programs should focus on broadening perspectives and helping students understand the world and their place in it. They should be initiated and coordinated by the school librarian and exemplify the role of the library program in advancing the overall educational goals of the school.
Recent Jaffarian Award-winners have included:
- Poverty and Philanthropy Class , a program in which students researched famous philanthropists, talked to supporters of their school’s foundation and held a fundraiser.
- Tales of the Crypt: Danville’s Living History , a program that used a historic local cemetery as the basis for a multidisciplinary student project.
- Everybody Has a Story , a program that taught third-graders about cultural and historic preservation both locally and globally.
- Greensboro Sit-In Exhibit , an exhibition about a well-known protest of the civil rights movement.
Named after the late Sara Jaffarian, a school librarian and longtime ALA member, ALA’s Jaffarian Award was established in 2006 to recognize and promote excellence in humanities programming in elementary and middle-school libraries. It is presented annually by the ALA Public Programs Office in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).
The award is selected by a committee comprising members of the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee (PCPAC), AASL and the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC).
Funding for the Jaffarian Award is provided by ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund (CCF). In 2003, a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities kick-started a campaign to secure the future of libraries as cultural destinations within the community. Since then, CCF has grown to more than $1.9 million, serving libraries as they serve their communities through the highest quality arts and humanities programs. To contribute to CCF, visit www.ala.org/ccf .