Maine DOE announces Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program funding opportunity

The Maine DOE is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) Office of Elementary and Secondary Education for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program. The federal IAL grant is aligned with Maine’s Comprehensive Literacy Plan, Literacy for ME, by supporting high-quality initiatives to develop and improve literacy skills of children and students from birth through grade 12 in high-need educational agencies and schools. The Maine DOE is encouraging those eligible to apply to submit an application directly to the USDE by July 17.

Funding provided to successful applicants may, among other activities, support innovative projects designed to:

  • Increase access to a wide range of literacy resources that prepare young children to read;
  • Provide high-quality childhood literacy activities with meaningful opportunities for parental engagement;
  • Strengthen literacy development across academic content areas to effectively support reading and writing;
  • Offer appropriate educational interventions for all readers with support from school libraries or national 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; and
  • Provide resources to support literacy-rich academic and enrichment activities and services aligned with State college-and career-ready standards and the comprehensive statewide literacy plan.

Eligible applicants must coordinate with school libraries in developing projects and be one of the following:

  • A high-need Local Education Agency (LEA);
  • A national not-for-profit (NNP) that serves children and students within the attendance boundaries of one or more high-need LEAs;
  • A consortium of NNPs that serves children and students within the attendance boundaries of one or more high-need LEAs;
  • A consortium of high-need LEAs; or
  • A consortium of one or more high-need LEAs and one or more NNPs that serve children and students within the attendance boundaries of one or more high-need LEAs.

It is estimated that approximately 30 awards will be made to LEAs and consortia of LEAs with award sizes of $150,000 to $750,000.  It is also anticipated that up to four awards of $3 million to $14 million will be made to NNPs, consortia of NNPs and consortia of NNPs and LEAs.

For more information on this funding opportunity and to obtain an application please visit the U.S. Department of Education Innovative Approaches to Literacy funding page.

For information on Maine’s Comprehensive State Literacy Plan or technical assistance, visit the Literacy for ME page of the Maine DOE’s website or contact Department Literacy Specialist Lee Anne Larsen at leeann.larsen@maine.gov or 207-624-6628.