Subpart 2 – Early Reading First

SEC. 1221  |  SEC. 1222  |  SEC. 1223  |  SEC. 1224  |  SEC. 1225  |  SEC. 1226

SEC. 1221. PURPOSES; DEFINITIONS.

    (a) PURPOSES- The purposes of this subpart are as follows:

      (1) To support local efforts to enhance the early language, literacy, and prereading development of preschool age children, particularly those from low-income families, through strategies and professional development that are based on scientifically based reading research.

      (2) To provide preschool age children with cognitive learning opportunities in high-quality language and literature-rich environments, so that the children can attain the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for optimal reading development in kindergarten and beyond.

      (3) To demonstrate language and literacy activities based on scientifically based reading research that supports the age-appropriate development of —

        (A) recognition, leading to automatic recognition, of letters of the alphabet;

        (B) knowledge of letter sounds, the blending of sounds, and the use of increasingly complex vocabulary;

        (C) an understanding that written language is composed of phonemes and letters each representing one or more speech sounds that in combination make up syllables, words, and sentences;

        (D) spoken language, including vocabulary and oral comprehension abilities; and

        (E) knowledge of the purposes and conventions of print.

      (4) To use screening assessments to effectively identify preschool age children who may be at risk for reading failure.

      (5) To integrate such scientific reading research-based instructional materials and literacy activities with existing programs of preschools, child care agencies and programs, Head Start centers, and family literacy services.

    (b) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this subpart:

      (1) ELIGIBLE APPLICANT- The term eligible applicant’ means —

        (A) one or more local educational agencies that are eligible to receive a subgrant under subpart 1;

        (B) one or more public or private organizations or agencies, acting on behalf of one or more programs that serve preschool age children (such as a program at a Head Start center, a child care program, or a family literacy program), which organizations or agencies shall be located in a community served by a local educational agency described in subparagraph (A); or

        (C) one or more local educational agencies described in subparagraph (A) in collaboration with one or more organizations or agencies described in subparagraph (B).

      (2) SCIENTIFICALLY BASED READING RESEARCH- The term scientifically based reading research’ has the same meaning given to that term in section 1208.

      (3) SCREENING READING ASSESSMENT- The term screening reading assessment’ has the same meaning given to that term in section 1208.

SEC. 1222. LOCAL EARLY READING FIRST GRANTS.

    (a) PROGRAM AUTHORIZED- From amounts appropriated under section 1002(b)(2), the Secretary shall award grants, on a competitive basis, for periods of not more than 6 years, to eligible applicants to enable the eligible applicants to carry out the authorized activities described in subsection (d).

    (b) APPLICATIONS- An eligible applicant that desires to receive a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary, which shall include a description of —

      (1) the programs to be served by the proposed project, including demographic and socioeconomic information on the preschool age children enrolled in the programs;

      (2) how the proposed project will enhance the school readiness of preschool age children in high-quality oral language and literature-rich environments;

      (3) how the proposed project will prepare and provide ongoing assistance to staff in the programs, through professional development and other support, to provide high-quality language, literacy, and prereading activities using scientifically based reading research, for preschool age children;

      (4) how the proposed project will provide services and use instructional materials that are based on scientifically based reading research on early language acquisition, prereading activities, and the development of spoken vocabulary skills;

      (5) how the proposed project will help staff in the programs to meet more effectively the diverse needs of preschool age children in the community, including such children with limited English proficiency, disabilities, or other special needs;

      (6) how the proposed project will integrate such instructional materials and literacy activities with existing preschool programs and family literacy services;

      (7) how the proposed project will help children, particularly children experiencing difficulty with spoken language, prereading, and early reading skills, to make the transition from preschool to formal classroom instruction in school;

      (8) if the eligible applicant has received a subgrant under subpart 1, how the activities conducted under this subpart will be coordinated with the eligible applicant’s activities under subpart 1 at the kindergarten through grade 3 level;

      (9) how the proposed project will evaluate the success of the activities supported under this subpart in enhancing the early language, literacy, and prereading development of preschool age children served by the project; and

      (10) such other information as the Secretary may require.

    (c) APPROVAL OF LOCAL APPLICATIONS- The Secretary shall select applicants for funding under this subpart based on the quality of the applications and the recommendations of a peer review panel convened under section 1203(c)(2), that includes, at a minimum, three individuals, selected from the entities described in clauses (ii), (iii), and (iv) of section 1203(c)(2)(A), who are experts in early reading development and early childhood development.

    (d) AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES- An eligible applicant that receives a grant under this subpart shall use the funds provided under the grant to carry out the following activities:

      (1) Providing preschool age children with high-quality oral language and literature-rich environments in which to acquire language and prereading skills.

      (2) Providing professional development that is based on scientifically based reading research knowledge of early language and reading development for the staff of the eligible applicant and that will assist in developing the preschool age children’s —

        (A) recognition, leading to automatic recognition, of letters of the alphabet, knowledge of letters, sounds, blending of letter sounds, and increasingly complex vocabulary;

        (B) understanding that written language is composed of phonemes and letters each representing one or more speech sounds that in combination make up syllables, words, and sentences;

        (C) spoken language, including vocabulary and oral comprehension abilities; and

        (D) knowledge of the purposes and conventions of print.

      (3) Identifying and providing activities and instructional materials that are based on scientifically based reading research for use in developing the skills and abilities described in paragraph (2).

      (4) Acquiring, providing training for, and implementing screening reading assessments or other appropriate measures that are based on scientifically based reading research to determine whether preschool age children are developing the skills described in this subsection.

      (5) Integrating such instructional materials, activities, tools, and measures into the programs offered by the eligible applicant.

    (e) AWARD AMOUNTS- The Secretary may establish a maximum award amount, or ranges of award amounts, for grants under this subpart.

SEC. 1223. FEDERAL ADMINISTRATION.

    The Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Health and Human Services to coordinate the activities under this subpart with preschool age programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.

SEC. 1224. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION.

    From the funds the National Institute for Literacy receives under section 1202(b)(1)(D), the National Institute for Literacy, in consultation with the Secretary, shall disseminate information regarding projects assisted under this subpart that have proven effective.

SEC. 1225. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

    Each eligible applicant receiving a grant under this subpart shall report annually to the Secretary regarding the eligible applicant’s progress in addressing the purposes of this subpart. Such report shall include, at a minimum, a description of —

      (1) the research-based instruction, materials, and activities being used in the programs funded under the grant;

      (2) the types of programs funded under the grant and the ages of children served by such programs;

      (3) the qualifications of the program staff who provide early literacy instruction under such programs and the type of ongoing professional development provided to such staff; and

      (4) the results of the evaluation described in section 1222(b)(9).

SEC. 1226. EVALUATION.

    (a) IN GENERAL- From the total amount made available under section 1002(b)(2) for the period beginning October 1, 2002, and ending September 30, 2006, the Secretary shall reserve not more than $3,000,000 to conduct an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of this subpart.

    (b) REPORTS-

      (1) INTERIM REPORT- Not later than October 1, 2004, the Secretary shall submit an interim report to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate.

      (2) FINAL REPORT- Not later than September 30, 2006, the Secretary shall submit a final report to the committees described in paragraph (1).

    (c) CONTENTS- The reports submitted under subsection (b) shall include information on the following:

      (1) How the grant recipients under this subpart are improving the prereading skills of preschool children.

      (2) The effectiveness of the professional development program assisted under this subpart.

      (3) How early childhood teachers are being prepared with scientifically based reading research on early reading development.

      (4) What activities and instructional practices are most effective.

      (5) How prereading instructional materials and literacy activities based on scientifically based reading research are being integrated into preschools, child care agencies and programs, programs carried out under the Head Start Act, and family literacy programs.

      (6) Any recommendations on strengthening or modifying this subpart.

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Last Modified: 09/09/2019