May 18 is the deadline for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program funding. The program supports programs designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade in high-need local educational agencies and schools.
The U.S. Department of Education (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.