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Deadline: May 9, 2016

U.S. Department of Education: Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program

The Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program supports high-quality programs designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade in high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools. The U.S. Department of Education intends to support innovative programs that promote early literacy for young children, motivate older children to read, and increase student achievement by using school libraries as partners to improve literacy, distributing free books to children and their families, and offering high-quality literacy activities. Applicants must submit a plan that is supported by evidence of strong theory, including a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice and a corresponding logic model.

There are three competitive preference priorities under this competition. Each priority is worth five points:

  • Competitive Preference Priority 1—Leveraging Technology To Support Instructional Practice and Professional Development: Projects that are designed to leverage technology through using high-speed Internet access and devices to increase students’ and educators’ access to high-quality accessible digital tools, assessments, and materials, particularly open educational resources.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 2—Improving Early Learning and Development Outcomes: Projects that are designed to improve early learning and development outcomes across one or more of the essential domains of school readiness for children from birth through third grade (or for any age group within this range) through a focus on one or more of the following: (a) Increasing access to high-quality early learning and development programs and comprehensive services, particularly for children with high needs; (b) Improving the quality and effectiveness of the early learning workforce so that early childhood educators, including administrators, have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to improve young children’s health, social-emotional, and cognitive outcomes; and/or (c) Sustaining improved early learning and development outcomes throughout the early elementary school years.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 3—Serving Rural Local Educational Agencies (LEAs): To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a project designed to provide high-quality literacy programming, or distribute books, or both, to students served by a rural LEA.

Amount: $26,475,715 is available. Grant amounts vary by type:

  • Estimated Range of Awards to LEAs and Consortia of LEAs: $175,000 to $750,000 (annually), with 30 awards anticipated.
  • Estimated Range of Awards to national not-for-profit organizations (NNPs), Consortia of NNPs, and Consortia of NNPs and LEAs: $1,500,000 to $5,000,000 (annually), with 2-6 awards anticipated.

Eligibility: An applicant must:

  • Be one of the following: (1) A high-need LEA; (2) An NNP that serves children and students within the attendance boundaries of one or more high-need LEAs; (3) A consortium of NNPs that serves children and students within the attendance boundaries of one or more high-need LEAs; (4) A consortium of high-need LEAs; or (5) A consortium of one or more high-need LEAs and one or more NNPs that serves children and students within the attendance boundaries of one or more high-need LEAs.
  • Coordinate with school libraries in developing project proposals.

National not-for-profit organization (NNP) means an agency, organization, or institution owned and operated by one or more corporations or associations whose net earnings do not benefit, and cannot lawfully benefit, any private shareholder or entity. In addition, it means, for the purposes of this program, an organization of national scope that is supported by staff or affiliates at the State and local levels, who may include volunteers, and that has a demonstrated history of effectively developing and implementing literacy activities. A local affiliate of an NNP does not meet the definition of NNP. Only a national agency, organization, or institution is eligible to apply as an NNP.

Link: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/04/07/2016-08051/applications-for-new-awards-innovative-approaches-to-literacy-program

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