Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program
Program Office: Office of Academic Improvement
CFDA Number: 84.215G
Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants
The 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 (high-need LEAs) and schools. The Department intends to promote innovative literacy programs that support the development of literacy skills in low-income communities, including programs that (1) develop and enhance effective school library programs, which may include providing professional development for school librarians, books, and up-to-date materials to high-need schools; (2) provide early literacy services, including pediatric literacy programs through which, during well-child visits, medical providers trained in research-based methods of early language and literacy promotion provide developmentally appropriate books and recommendations to parents to encourage them to read aloud to their children starting in infancy; and (3) provide high-quality books on a regular basis to children and adolescents from low-income communities to increase reading motivation, performance, and frequency. The IAL program supports the implementation of high-quality plans for childhood literacy activities and book distribution efforts that demonstrate a rationale.
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 often lack adequate books and other materials and resources. In many communities, high-need children have limited access to appropriate age- and grade-level reading material in their homes.
The IAL program supports the implementation of high-quality plans for childhood literacy activities and book distribution efforts that are supported by evidence of strong theory (as defined in the NIA).