The application filing period for Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program (IAL) school literacy grants is now open, the Department of Education announced today in the Federal Register. We encourage school librarians to apply for the program grants, which can range from $150,000–750,000. At least 50 percent of the $28.6 million is designated for school librarians. The deadline to apply for the grant funding is August 10, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
The literacy grant program is designed to support innovative literacy programs for young children, increase student achievement by using school libraries and motivate older children to read. According to the Department of Education, the grants are to be used 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.”
Local education agencies can use the funding to support school libraries and purchase materials. The Department of Education highlighted the need for school libraries in the literacy efforts in the program announcement:
Many schools and districts across the Nation do not have school libraries that deliver high-quality literacy programming to children and their families. Additionally, many schools do not have qualified library media specialists and library facilities. Where facilities do exist, they are often underresourced and lack adequate books and other materials. In many communities, high-need children and students have limited access to appropriate age- and grade-level reading material in their homes.
To get tips on how to apply for the literacy grant program, visit the ALA Innovative Approaches to Literacy application guide webpage.
Please note: All interested parties must be registered for federal grants in advance to apply for program grants.