SOS Book Fund

As part of our mission, NEF recognizes the significance of reading skills to students’ overall academic achievement.  In the spring of 2005, NEF assumed responsibility for the operations formerly run by Support Our Schools (SOS), with the goal of having a single comprehensive organization to support public education in Northampton. Under the merger, NEF has established the “SOS Book Fund,” which is designated for classroom texts, library texts, instructional materials, and their digital equivalents.

The principal sources of the fund are an annual appeal to Northampton residents and an annual Plant and Garden Market, held in May. Funds are distributed annually on a per-capita basis per school, after each school has submitted spending plans and the NEF Board has approved them.

Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year are available now. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES BEFORE YOU FILL OUT THE APPLICATION (link is located at bottom of page)

Some Guidelines for Applicants:

    • Please make every attempt to submit all requests/requisitions for all the SOS Book Fund dollars apportioned to your school at one time.  If multiple educators from a single school wish to apply for funds, they should coordinate together and with their principal when they will submit applications.


    • Schools may submit orders to this website using the link below.  NEF has to vote on each application before it is passed to the School Department for processing.  For the remainder of the school year NEF meets on March 16, April 27, May 18, and June 15, so we ask educators to pick one of those dates, aiming to submit applications at least a few days before their chosen meeting date.


    • Although traditionally NEF has tried to engage in discussions with the School Councils about the Book Fund, the pandemic has made Council elections and meetings difficult.  Faculty and staff at each school should choose what system works best for them to discuss how funds should be used, with the final decision made by the principal.  If funds are shared among teachers, it may be helpful to appoint one person to keep track of all requests before submitting the online request form.  If you have any questions or need help with the process, please reach out to Amy Levine.


    • On the application, provide information on why the order is important to the student’s learning experience. This explanation does not have to be long, but it does need to tell NEF some relevant details.  If the application contains multiple orders, help us understand the overall goals of each order (not each text).  Be sure you send your justification sentences to your principal for approval before you submit the application.


    • Teachers should get written quotes from companies. The quotes should include shipping and be good for 60 – 90 days. (You can get ballpark quotes while you are planning how to spend your funds.) Teachers should use the “School Dept.” name, so they get the school discount. You will be uploading these quotes and including them with your online request form.


    • Complete a School Department Purchase Requisition (can be accessed on employee forms website), and upload that to the application.


    • Please make every attempt to order locally. Broadside Bookshop, High Five Books, and Pioneer Valley Books can accommodate many of our requests, and other independent bookshops may be able to as well. Even the Hadley Barnes & Noble employs locals, so please do make an attempt to shop locally.


    • June 15 will be the cut-off date for requests, with the last purchase order issued by Aug. 1. If an allocation is not used by that time, that money will combine with new fundraising to be reapportioned in the fall according to the per pupil formula NEF uses to distribute funds.


    • The minimum order is $300.


For more information about the SOS Book Fund, please contact Amy Levine of the NEF Board.

Click here to access an online-fillable application form.