Ezra Jack Keats, author and illustrator of over 85 excellent books for kids, died in 1983. His will stipulated that the royalties from his books be given to his Foundation, to help support "programs judged to be helpful to humanity." Such as:

  • Mini-grants to libraries
    Mini-grants are offered to school and public libraries, for programs that encourage kids' literacy and creativity. Schools may receive up to $250, public libraries $500. This December, the Foundation plans to award more than $35,000 in mini-grants, awarded to libraries nationwide.

  • UNICEF - Ezra Jack Keats International Award for Children's Book Illustration
    This biennial award encourages outstanding artists to address their talents to literature for children throughout the world, to take a more global view.

  • New York Public Library - Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award
    The Foundation and the New York Public Library cosponsor this biennial contest for promising new authors of picture books. Considered writers have published no more than five children's books. The books must be multicultural and involve good values and positive messages and things. The winner receives a medal and $1,000.

  • Keats Fellowship for Scholarly Study at the de Grummond collection The de Grummond Collection lives in the McCain Library at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Ezra's archives and many of his original illustrations for his books are a part of this collection. The Keats Fellowship encourages the scholarly pursuit of Ezra's work, and the work of other children's book authors and illustrators (there are more than 1,200 of them) whose books and documents are housed in this collection. The fellowship includes a grant of up to $1,200.

  • The Ezra Jack Keats Lectureship
    This lecture is presented every year by a bigshot in the field of children's literature. Takes place at the Children's Literature Festival at the University of Southern Mississippi.

  • International Children's Book Week
    The Foundation supports the Library of Congress's celebration of International Children's Book Week. A famous artist or illustrator (usually European, who knows why) speaks at this annual reception.

The Foundation is "dedicated to encouraging creativity, literacy, and joy in learning for children."   I'm glad it is.

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