2016 Awards

Project Abstracts


Northwest Artic Borough School District
PR/Award # S215G160191

This project has five goals: 1) to provide relevant “take home” books to students three years old to twelfth grade three times per year, 2) to provide literacy-related professional development, 3) to provide technology integration and support for literacy activities, 4) to procure feedback from students, educators, and parents/community on the effectiveness of the project, and 5) to increase the reading growth of students as measured on state testing.


Sacramento City Unified School District
PR/Award # S215G160143

Sacramento’s IAL grant places a strong emphasis on improving early learning and development by stressing the importance of strategies such as reading aloud to students, particularly young students, to support literacy development and an understanding that reading is about making meaning. Activities within the program will be on teaching teachers and family members how to engage in effective Read Alouds with an emphasis on reading with intonation and inflection, changing voice to denote characters, and the importance of reading aloud to students to build pleasure and excitement about reading.  The program provides a continuum of supports that seek to maximize learning for both adults and students. This is coordinated through: a) creating high quality virtual and in person professional learning experiences for school and district staff, b) engaging parents/families in culturally responsive literacy focused workshops and activities, c) engrossing students in rich texts and robust literacy instruction and activities with peers and other adults before, after, and throughout the school day/year, d) increasing students’ and their families’ access to an array of both print and digital texts, and e) engaging staff and students in 4-6 week rapid cycles of inquiry characterized by a Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) iterative process.

District of Columbia

CommonLit Inc.
PR/Award # S215G160065

CommonLit plans to improve 5th-12th grade student achievement in reading. To accomplish this, the project team will build a collection of high-quality open educational resources and a series of web-based digital tools that enable teachers to use research-based best practices in literacy instruction. The project plans that secondary literacy teachers using the platform built through this project will use research-based best practices with greater frequency. As a result,
students will become more engaged in reading, and ultimately will become more proficient readers as measured through student reading growth on standards-aligned assessments.


Corbin Independent Schools
PR/Award # S215G160171

Corbin will implement the following activities: 1) increase evidence-based literacy resources; 2) provide evidence-based and high-quality, meaningful literacy activities for children and parents; 3) strengthen literacy development across all academic content areas which will include both literacy and information text; 4) provide evidence-based intervention services for all student readers; 5) enhance evidence-based professional development opportunities for teachers and other school staff; and 6) provide the most up-to-date literacy resources.

Grayson County Board of Education
PR/Award # S215G160013

Grayson’s IAL project has a goal of preparing all children to be college and career ready.  The plan for the grant includes free book distribution, Lexile leveled books, access to advanced technologies, access to web-based literacy programs, a Technology Integration Specialist, and parent involvement opportunities.  The outcome of this project will be improved early literacy skills resulting in more K-8 students who score proficient on state/district tests. 

Kentucky Educational Development Corporation
PR/Award # S215G160112

This grantee proposes to provide and expand early literacy for young children, motivate older children to read, and increase student achievement by using school libraries as partners to improve literacy, distributing free books to children and their families through Reading is Fundamental (RIF), and offering high-quality literacy activities. The following outcomes are planned:1) 100% of participating schools will develop, modify or expand their K-12 Literacy plan based up on research based strategies from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) to meet the needs of all students based upon their needs from a Response to Intervention(RTI) technology screener; 2) a 10% increase over baseline data will occur in: preschoolers who show improvement in the Early Learning and Developmental Outcomes on the Brigance and in the number of 4th and 8th grade students scoring proficient on the K-PREP state test; 3) 100% of students will obtain access to online books and receive personal books to assist in becoming college and career ready; 4) a minimum of 85% of librarians will attend 75% of literacy trainings pertaining to pedagogy in the field of differentiation, universal design for learning (UDL), technology, and other educational literacy strategies

Newport Independent Schools
PR/Award # S215G160105

Newport plans to increase by 30% the number of K- through 12th-grade students who gain proficiency in reading and/or language arts, while also increasing by 35% the number of pre-K
students who are ready for kindergarten based upon their oral language skills. The project has the following objectives: 1) increase literacy resources (in both complexity and content) in the library media centers and home environment to help prepare and motivate children to read; 2) provide high-quality, family-focused literacy activities (during the school day and after) focused on meaningful opportunities for parental engagement; 3) with ongoing support from community partners, provide appropriate educational interventions for all pre-K thru 12th grade students; 4) utilize the “universal design for learning” framework, provide joint professional development to library media specialists and teachers to expand “cross collaboration,” and effectively support reading/writing instruction and student achievement; 5) increase home internet access for students and expand e-resources provided through library media centers to support technology-rich literacy activities and services aligned with Kentucky Dept. of Education college- and career-readiness standards.

Owsley County Schools
PR/Award # S215G160118

Owsley will offer high-quality services that will 1) increase access to a wide range of literacy resources, 2) provide learning opportunities for all elementary school students, 3) provide high quality early literacy programs to ensure all children enter Kindergarten ready to learn, and 4) engage families in their child’s learning. The theory of change for this project focuses on a vibrant school library that utilizes evidence based programming and technology leading to increased literacy and learning within the school and the community. In alignment with project goals, major projected outcomes include: participating pre-school children, ages 3-5, will obtain significant gains in oral language skills, and enter Kindergarten ready to learn; participating school-age children will be reading at grade level by 3rd grade, and will exhibit improved literacy and pre-literacy skills; teachers will exhibit increased skills in supporting literacy development; parents will indicate an increase in knowledge to support their child’s/children’s literacy development; and the culture within the community will innately support literacy. Integration of research-based programs in early child development, literacy development, effective family engagement initiatives, and literacy-rich settings will improve literacy environments in the home, school, and community for children living in high-poverty and, in turn, contribute to children’s improved education outcomes. The project’s comprehensive continuum of support will be enhanced by evidence based literacy programs, digital learning libraries, in school and out of school learning, high-quality book distribution, a plan for summer learning loss and a family/community engagement strategy.

Perry County School District
PR/Award # S215G160137

Perry proposes a comprehensive approach to infusing reading into schools and community based on the premise that it takes a community to raise a reader.  The project objectives are: 1) increase the percentage of 4-year olds participating in the project who achieve significant gains in oral language skills, 2) increase annually the percentage of children who enter Kindergarten demonstrating reading readiness, 3) increase the percentage of 4th graders participating in the project who demonstrate individual student growth on the state reading or language arts assessments, 4) increase the percentage of 8th graders participating in the project who demonstrate individual student growth on the state reading or language arts assessments, 5) increase the percentage of participating schools whose holdings of up-to-date book-to-student ratios increase from the previous year; and 6) ensure that, by the end of the grant period, every participating student receives at least 4 free, grade- and language-appropriate books of their own.

Russellville Independent School District
PR/Award # S215G160127

Russellville plans to implement a birth-to-grad community initiative with three goals.  Goal 1 is to ensure all young children are ready to read.  Activities to support this goal include outreach to parents, caregivers, and providers, free age-appropriate books to young children, devices and apps for young children as well as academic and cognitive improvements for 5-year-olds.  Goal 2 will ensure all elementary and middle school students are excellent, accelerated readers.  Activities include the instruction of a basal reading series at grades 6-8, coaching and modeling for all teachers in literacy strategies, expanding reading interventions and reading collections including new devices for checkout, implementation of the Peer Assisted Literacy Strategies (grades 6-8), and embedding professional learning for teachers.  Goal 3 is to ensure all secondary students read to learn by working with high school teachers across their content areas to implement literacy strategies. Activities include supporting a literacy coach.   

West Kentucky Educational Cooperative
PR/Award # S215G160112

This grantee plans to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students birth through second grade. Project Activities include: 1) provide more print/digital media resources increasing book-to-student ratios in school libraries; 2) increase book distribution to children’s homes thereby allowing for development and/or expansion of home libraries; 3) provide parental professional development seminars offering coaching and modeling to parents on why and how to read to their children; and 4) provide teacher professional development workshops to help leverage technology in support of strong reading comprehension strategies and other literacy instructional practices.


Baltimore City Public Schools
PR/Award # S215G160125

Baltimore plans to increase student reading levels by: 1) trainingteachers, librarians, school leaders (including principals and literacy representatives), and OST providers and parents on the practice and importance of leveled reading materials; 2) increasing student accessto texts that are at their appropriate reading level; and 3) increasing the amount of timespent reading instructional and independent level texts. They plan to do this by providing leveled reading materials, as well as professional development to district staff, partner organizations, and parents. Their expected outcomes are: 1) increased knowledgeregarding how to use leveled libraries and useof the libraries for teachers, librarians, school leaders, service providers, and parents, as reported by survey data and measured by a statistically significant change from the beginning of the year (BOY) to the end of the year (EOY) on the survey; 2) increased access to reading-level-appropriate texts; 3) increased amount of time spent reading, including a statistically significant increase in the amount of time spent reading from BOY to EOY, as measured by use of the digital platform; and increased student reading levels. 


Reading & Math, Inc.
PR/Award # S215G160094

This grantee will implement literacy-rich academic activities aligned with State, college, and career-ready standards that result in significant reading gains for high-need children.  This program will: 1) create partnerships with school library personnel to delivery literacy activities, distribute carefully selected high-quality, free books to students in several states, and engage families to increase literacy activities at home; 2) provide high-quality literacy activities to PreK-third grade students; 3) provide an intensive K-3rd grade  model in schools in Promise Neighborhoods in Minnesota; 4) build significant capacity to sustain the investment beyond the grant through multi-layer coaching; and 5) expand capacity to implement improved instructional supports and data-driven decision making through technology . 

New Mexico

Three Rivers Education Foundation
PR/Award # S215G160051

Three Rivers will implement three project components: school-based activities, community-based activities, and early literacy activities. The program will provide after school tutoring in reading and literacy for students, professional development for teachers, and distribution of classroom books.  Community reading blogs, community reading events, parent workshops, partnerships with literacy organizations, and distribution of books in public places and community events will comprise the community-based activities.  Early literacy activities include development of early literacy and oral language resources, early childhood educator training, parent workshops for improving early literacy development, distribution of early literacy books and other resource materials through medical service offices that specialize in infants and young children, and training for early childhood healthcare providers.

New Jersey

Camden City Board of Education
PR/Award # S215G160190

Camden proposes to develop and improve literacy skills in proven and new ways for participating children from birth to grade 12. Project activities will include teaching pregnant moms about the importance of talking to their unborn children; book distributions; increased high school library-based literacy activities; early childhood literacy activities with read-alouds and increased parental involvement in their children’s language learning; a program for teen fathers to read aloud with their young children to be recorded and aired on public television; pairing “reading buddy” 8th graders and high school students with preschoolers for read-alouds and literacy activities; using journaling and digital storytelling to teach adolescents how to organize their thoughts into narrative, offering the schools family literacy programming;
professional development for educators to improve instructional practice with the use of state-of-the art technology; using technology to provide individualized education to students; and more.

New York

Addison Central School District
PR/Award # S215G160067

The Addison Central School District will incorporate the following program components in its IAL grant: 1) early childhood development support, including universal screening, community outreach, and materials to support early literacy development; 2) access to print materials, including take-home book distribution, library integration, and technology; 3) instructional practices including reading intervention services and summer literacy services; 4) professional development, including expert literacy consultants, use of technology, Thoughtful Classroom, and Mandarin training.

North Carolina

Ashe County Schools District
PR/Award # S215G160126

Ashe County aims to ensure that all students have the opportunity to experience a rich literacy environment that includes age-appropriate books, literacy activities, technology, and the support of families and communities by implementing a mobile book lab, the Literacy Express. The second goal of the program is to use the mobile lab at each school site to provide a fully loaded literacy classroom for literacy instruction, intervention, and enrichment.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
PR/Award # S215G160192

This grantee is proposing a project with 4 goals: 1) build capacity of school librarians, 2) increase use of technology to deliver instruction, 3) increase access to print and digital resources, and 4) increase family engagement.  Activities include professional development; employing a digital teaching learning coach for school librarians and teachers; literacy-focused Professional Learning Teams (PLTs); increased opportunities for grade level collaboration across content areas; purchase of high-quality culturally sensitive materials for home/school libraries; establishment of summer media hours; whole school/family book and magazine distributions; author visits; and bus site visits.


Bokoshe School District
PR/Award # S215G160062

Bokoshe has the following project goal:  raise student achievement in reading English at all levels by 10%.  Objectives of the project include: 1) improve and expand the three school
libraries and increase library usage, 2) utilize instructional technology to expand literacy-building activities; 3) implement the Read Naturally Program to increase the percentage of students who read at grade-level; 4) improve and expand classroom instruction in reading and English classrooms; and 5) utilize professionals to raise student achievement.

Lane Elementary School District
PR/Award # S215G160100

Lane plans to raise the literacy proficiency of every student in grades PreK-8th. Funds will be used for the following: 1) acquiring books and extending library hours to improve each student’s reading capacity; 2) placing each student on an Plan that will set benchmarks for improvement; 3) updating library resources to include specialized and modern literacy tools, ranging from Native American-specific books to wireless reading devices; 4) forming collaborative efforts between teachers and library staff to enhance classroom efforts; and 5) conducting three types of book distributions so children can take books home.

LeFlore Public Schools
PR/Award # S215G160026

LeFlore will use book distribution, extended day tutoring, a drop-in program for parents of children age birth to 4, early childhood student immersion into hands-on reading, training from two non-profit organizations providing training on removing poverty barriers and embedding literacy, and high-quality curriculum and resources. Funds will be used to do the following: 1. Through the purchase of 2,680 books and other-literacy based material, the distribution of hundreds of free books, and a program that extends the time the library is open, students will have increased access to relevant, current literacy materials.2. Through a drop-in program for parents of children age birth to 3-years-old, early childhood literacy training, and a parent literacy education program, early learners will have fewer delays in speech and reading. 3. Through collaboration with the Quantum Learning and aha Process Inc., teachers will be trained in embedding literacy in all classrooms and addressing low-income students and special needs students. 4. Through on-site training and use of open education resources, teachers will bridge the geographical gap facing LeFlore students. 5. Through a quality extended-day and summer literacy and tutoring program led by a Literacy Leader, at-risk students will receive individualized training in language acquisition and comprehension. 6. Through the acquisition of technologies such as iPad devices and laptop computers and use of interactive curriculum such as Literacy Express, students will engage in hands-on, visual learning and whole-class instruction.

Maryetta School District
PR/Award # S215G160072

Maryetta will support early literacy for young children, motivate older children to read, and increase student reading achievement. Proposed activities, include: (1) Collaboration among the library mediaspecialist and teachers to plan differentiated, subject-specific pedagogy utilizing libraryresources; (2) Creating pacing guides, delivering high quality literacy instructional units
usingscientifically-based reading research for materials and instructional strategies, and creatingcommon formative assessments; (3) Providing supplemental instruction and Response-to-Intervention Tier 1, 2 & 3 reading interventions through Lexia Reading; (4) Providing training, coaching, and modeling for reading, writing, and technology integrated activities; (5) Providingparent literacy activities; (6) Distributing free books; and (7) Establishing Professional LearningCommunity Facilitators.

Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District
PR/Award # S215G160197

The Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District plans to build local capacity and expand additional services to address the literacy needs of their students by providing critical literacy supports for young children and increase student achievement through collaborations between the school librarians and classroom teachers; distribution of free books; increased access and effective use of information resources and technologies; and high-quality engaging, relevant literacy activities and supports.

Stilwell Public Schools
PR/Award # S215G160104

Stilwell will bring in four full-time literacy specialists, each delivering at least two hours of embedded, “push-in” coaching and mentoring in literacy best practices to 15 classroom teachers each week for all 24 months of the project.  The two Library Media centers will be revitalized, receiving 4,825 updated titles – including Spanish and Cherokee language books, biographies, graphic novels, and reference titles.  Quarterly family literacy nights will be held, and monthly Reading is FUN literacy activity lists will be sent home.  All students K-12th grade will receive at least four books to keep each year.  A tiered literacy curriculum will be implemented, ensuring all students benefit from personalized research-based literacy instructional supports and programs. Chrome Books will be purchased to enable classroom use of technology-based interventions.


School District of Philadelphia
PR/Award # S215G160049

Philadelphia is proposing a project to provide high-quality early literacy activities both inside the classroom and at the local public library that incorporate print and online reading materials for students in grades K-3, as well as parent engagement activities. Classroom teachers and public librarians will co-design literacy activities and collaborate to ensure that the resources of the public library are in regular use by young students.  Through the introduction of tablets, students and their families will be able to reserve books from any Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) branch and chat with a librarian.

South Carolina

Dillon School District Four
PR/Award # S2125G160031

Dillon has the following six program elements in its grant plan: 1) professional learning that supports PreK-12th grade educators in understanding and implementing the Exemplary Literacy Classrooms; 2) comprehensive assessment system that helps teachers make a clear connection between curriculum, assessment, and student data to develop effective instructional strategies 3) summer programs and activities for students and parents to help prevent summer reading loss; 4) access to professional learning needed for Read to Succeed endorsements and other licensure requirements to help districts and schools train, reward, and retrain effective teachers and reading coaches; 5) partnerships to communicate Read to Succeed goals and to promote literacy achievement from birth to grade 12 though collaboration efforts with stakeholders that include community organizations, businesses, and state agencies; and 6) language and literacy instruction in pre-kindergarten programs through professional learning in evidence-based, intentional curricula and by providing resources for literacy-rich classroom environments and expanding literacy courses available to the rural schools through interactive video-conferencing. 


Crockett Independent School District
PR/Award # S215G160107

Crockett plans to increase the literacy competency and the joy of reading for every student in their school district by implementing a literacy initiative that: (1) increases the quality and quantity of literacy materials in school libraries (print and electronic); (2) encourages collaboration between librarian and teachers; (3) uses the trainer of trainer model to implement instructional strategies; (4) enhances early childhood literacy skills and parent engagement through the use of technology, Family Literacy Nights, Reader’s Theatre, and book distribution; (5) conducts professional development (technology based and face to face) for assisting all students, but especially those at risk and with special needs, in obtaining their optimal literacy potential; (6) integrates technology with academic learning and professional development; and (7) supports the acquisition of core content literacy material.

Karnes City Independent School District
PR/Award # S215G160017

Karnes City will help to ensure all children are school ready by implementing a reading program that has evidence of strong theory of increasing parents’ efforts to read aloud to their preschool-aged children. The program will also work with preschool-aged students via a book distribution program that will enhance the student’s home libraries and their oral language development. Third, KCISD students in Pre-K-3rd grade will have teachers that are trained to improve the students’ language development via dialogic reading. Finally, the program will increase utilization of the campus libraries at each of the three KCISD school campuses.

Texans Can Academies
PR/Award # S215G1600059

Texans Can Academies, Dallas and Fort Worth campuses plan to build local capacity and expand additional services to address the literacy needs of their students by providing critical literacy supports for young children at their Can Care Academies and high schools and increase student achievement through collaborations between the local librarians and classroom teachers; distribution of free books; increased access and effective use of information resources and technologies; and high-quality engaging, relevant literacy activities and supports.