U.S. Department of Education Innovative Approaches to Literacy Grants — Applications due Aug. 10, 2012

Closing Date for Applications: August 10, 2012

The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) invites applications to the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.

The IAL program supports high-quality programs designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade within the attendance boundaries of high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) 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, distributing free books to children and their families, and offering high-quality literacy activities.

The Department will award no less than 50 percent of FY 2012 funds to applications from LEAs (on behalf of school libraries) for high-quality school library projects that increase access to a wide range of literacy resources (either print or electronic) and provide learning opportunities to all students.

Absolute priority: The IAL program supports the implementation of high-quality plans for childhood literacy activities and book distribution efforts that are supported by at least one study that meets the definition of scientifically valid research (as defined in the notice).

Proposed projects under the IAL program, based on those plans, may include, among other things, activities that—

  • Increase access to a wide range of literacy resources (either print or electronic) that prepare young children to read, and provide learning opportunities to all participating students;
  • Provide high-quality childhood literacy activities with meaningful opportunities for parental engagement, including encouraging parents to read books often with their children in their early years of school and of life, and teaching parents how to use literacy resources effectively;
  • Strengthen literacy development across academic content areas by providing a wide range of literacy resources spanning a range of both complexity and content (including both literature and informational text) to effectively support reading and writing;
  • Offer appropriate educational interventions for all readers with support from school libraries or not-for-profit organizations;
  • Foster collaboration and joint professional development opportunities for teachers, school leaders, and school library personnel with a focus on using literacy resources effectively to support reading and writing and academic achievement. For example, an approach to professional development within the IAL program might be collaboration between library and school personnel to plan subject-specific pedagogy that is differentiated based on each student’s developmental level and is supported by universal design for learning (as defined in this notice), technology, and other educational strategies; and
  • Provide resources to support literacy-rich academic and enrichment activities and services aligned with State college- and career-ready academic content standards and the comprehensive statewide literacy plan (SLP) (as defined in the notice).

Competitive preference priorities:

  1. Turning Around Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools
  2. Technology
  3. Improving Early Learning Outcomes
  4. Serving Rural LEAs

A synopsis of this grant opportunity is available at http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&oppId=183113.

The full announcement is accessible at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/07/11/2012-16930/applications-for-new-awards-innovative-approaches-to-literacy-program#h-3 or http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-07-11/pdf/2012-16930.pdf. The official version of this document is published in the Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 133, Wednesday, July 11, 2012, Notices).

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