Book Bus Grants

Through our Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation Book Bus program, we partner with school systems and other nonprofit agencies to create mobile libraries that provide children and families with access to high-quality resources. Our role is to amplify the Book Bus Program by providing our grantees with financial assistance and best practices for launching the bus, engaging the community, and connecting book bus operators from across the state. If you are interested in launching a Book Bus or other mobile book vehicle, such as a retrofitted van, trailer- or even food truck- in your community, please see below for more information on our grant process and a best practices handbook for implementing a Book Bus program.

GELF Best Practices Handbook

The below guide outlines the process and questions to consider for launching a Book Bus with suggested steps and timeline for engaging your school system or nonprofit agency and initiating community partnerships. In expanding this program, we do have branding guidelines and requirements for marketing and reporting. Guidelines and requirements will be outlined in a grant agreement and signed by the school system or partner agency upon partnership execution. The local school system or partnering nonprofit agency will be held responsible for retrofitting the bus or mobile book vehicle and coordinating with school staff and other local partners.

Book Bus Program Indication of Interest Form

Those who complete the Book Bus Indication of Interest Form are interested in launching a new Book Bus but are still in the planning stages and do NOT anticipate beginning operations by Summer 2024. GELF can better provide potential assistance, funding, and guidance if your school system or non-profit organization provides information on program contact individual(s), current status of your program’s project development, projected service area, projected launch date, and committed area funding partners and sponsors for the program.

2023 GELF Book Bus Grant Opportunities

Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation offers two different grants to support book buses. The Accelerate Grant is ‘geared’ for brand new bus programs. The Refuel Grant is ‘geared’ for buses that have been serving Tennessee families for at least two years. Please click on the links below for more information on both grant opportunities.

Accelerate Grant

Those who apply for an Accelerate Grant are seeking funding to launch a new Book Bus no later than summer 2024. To learn more about the 2023 grant requirements, go here. (The application will open on March 6, 2023.) 

Refuel Grant

Those who apply for a Refuel Grant have been operating their book bus programs for at least two years and are seeking funding to help with their summer 2023 expenses. (Please note: This grant is available to book buses every two years. For example, if you were awarded a Refuel Grant in 2022, you are not eligible to reapply until 2024.) To learn more about the 2023 grant requirements, go here. (The application will open on March 6, 2023.)