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The Kentucky Bluegrass Award Program. Presented by Michelle Lemmon, Library Media Specialist Model Lab School. How many participants are new to the KBA Program?. The Kentucky Bluegrass Award or KBA is an annual award for the best book as chosen by the students of Kentucky.

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the kentucky bluegrass award program

The Kentucky Bluegrass Award Program

Presented by Michelle Lemmon,

Library Media Specialist

Model Lab School

The Kentucky Bluegrass Award or KBA is an annual award for the best book as chosen by the students of Kentucky.
The purpose of the KBA is to encourage students in Kentucky in grades K-12 to read quality children’s literature.
The KBA Master List Committees choose the nominees for each of the four Master Lists: Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12, by around March 1st of each year.
K-12 students read books from these Master Lists during the school year, then vote for their favorite by April 1st. Students do not have to read at their grade level. Students can read as many books as they want, but must read at least two nominees on a Master List to be eligible to vote.
Schools and libraries tally and submit students’ votes by April 1st of each year to the KBA Chair, through the KBA website, which is linked to the KRA website at or directly at
A winner is declared for each level and is announced by the KBA Committee before the end of each school year (usually in April).
To participate, simply promote some or all of the titles of the Master Lists to students during the school year. Tally the students’ votes and submit them to the KBA web site.
Also, you can register to be on the email distribution list on KBA’s website to receive updates and news.
Participation in the program gives YOUR students a VOICE!

For the 2009 award, there were 31,889 students’ votes counted.

(And the books are awesome!)

kba chairperson is kay hensley
KBA Chairperson is Kay Hensley

Master List Leaders:

Grades K-2: Jennifer Smith

Grades 3-5: Kathy Watson

Grades 6-8: Janet Powers

Grades 9-12: Lynda Short and Jennifer Lake

The Master Lists are designed to present a variety of genres, appeal to different interests, and represent different readability levels.
An idea that has been successful in my library is the “KBA Shelf” or a designated location for each year’s current nominees.
kba shelf
KBA Shelf

Use scanned and printed images of covers as shadows for easy reference, accessibility, and advertisement (even when the books are checked out).

Students can look on the same shelf all through the year, and year after year to always find a current KBA book!
Another idea that has worked well is to Label KBA Nominees and Winners.

Labeling each nominee and winner guarantees that the KBA information is always available, long after the year that the book is a nominee or winner.

implementation ideas
Implementation Ideas
  • Read the K-2 Grade Nominees aloud to all library classes.
  • Use a “Visual Ballot” for K-2 Voting, a laminated page of covers, with erasable markers- enough for a class.
implementation ideas26
Implementation Ideas

Present book talks for the Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and/or Grades 9-12, with related information, such as author web sites presented, on bookmarks or handouts.

bulletin board idea
Bulletin Board Idea

Provide a visual representation of each nominee to reference as you read aloud, present book talks, or when students vote.

bulletin board idea28
Bulletin Board Idea

Display the nominees throughout the year, and especially during special events such as Open Houses and Literacy Nights.

bulletin board idea30
Bulletin Board Idea

Display the KBA Winners.

And post next year’s lists.

  • Encourage teachers to use the Master Lists to assign Summer Reading and Required Reading during the school year.
  • Work with the Special Education Department to purchase copies and/or Recorded Books to use with students during the summer then, put them in the library collection for circulation during the school year!
KBA Paraphernalia

Bookmarks, Spine Labels, Award Seals, and Pencils can be purchased with the order form available from the KBA web site.

Win Free KBA Books!

Apply to win free KBA books through the KBA web site. Applications are due by July 1, each year. Winners are announced July 30, each year.