Tag Archives: Functional Literacy



Eligible Applicants:  To be considered for an award under this competition, an applicant must be one or more of the following:

  1. An LEA in which 20 percent or more of the students served by the LEA are from families with an income below the poverty line (as defined in section 8101(41) of the ESEA).
  2. A consortium of such LEAs described in paragraph (1) above.
  3. The Bureau of Indian Education.
  4. An eligible national nonprofit organization (as defined in section 2226(b)(2) of the ESEA) that serves children and students within the attendance boundaries of one or more eligible LEAs.

Note:  Under the definition of “poverty line” in section 8101(41) of the ESEA, the determination of the percentage of students served by an LEA from families with an income below the poverty line is based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s SAIPE data. 

An entity that meets the definition of an LEA in section 8101(30) of the ESEA and that serves multiple LEAs, such as a county office of education, an education service agency, or regional service education agency, must provide the most recent SAIPE data for each of the individual LEAs it serves.  To determine whether the entity meets the poverty threshold, the Department will derive the entity’s poverty rate by aggregating the number of students from families below the poverty line (as provided in SAIPE data) in each of the LEAs the entity serves and dividing it by the total number of students (as provided in SAIPE data) in all of the LEAs the entity serves.

An LEA for which SAIPE data are not available, such as a non-geographic charter school, must provide a determination by the State educational agency (SEA) that 20 percent or more of the students aged 5-17 in the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line based on the same State-derived poverty data the SEA used to determine the LEA’s allocation under part A of title I of the ESEA.

Note:  If you are a nonprofit organization, under 34 CFR 75.51, you may demonstrate your nonprofit status by providing:  (1) proof that the Internal Revenue Service currently recognizes the applicant as an organization to which contributions are tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; (2) a statement from a State taxing body or the State attorney general certifying that the organization is a nonprofit organization operating within the State and that no part of its net earnings may lawfully benefit any private shareholder or individual; (3) a certified copy of the applicant’s certificate of incorporation or similar document if it clearly establishes the nonprofit status of the applicant; or (4) any item described above if that item applies to a State or national parent organization, together with a statement by the State or parent organization that the applicant is a local nonprofit affiliate.

National not-for-profit organization means an agency, organization, or institution owned and operated by one or more corporations or associations whose net earnings do not benefit, and cannot lawfully benefit, any private shareholder or entity.  In addition, it means, for the purposes of this program, an organization of national scope that is supported by staff or affiliates at the State and local levels, who may include volunteers, and that has a demonstrated history of effectively developing and implementing literacy activities.

Applicant Information

FY 2023 IAL Notice Inviting Applications (NIA)

FY 2023 IAL Competition Timeline

  • NIA Available: March 14, 2023
  • Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: March 29, 2023
  • Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 15, 2023

FY 2023 IAL Application Instructions

The IAL Application Package is available for applicants to download and use as a guide only. This document can also be found on Grants.gov.  Unless the applicant qualifies for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, all IAL grant applications must be submitted electronically via Grants.gov.

FY 2023 IAL Application Instructions: PDF

Technical Assistance (TA) Pre-Application Meeting for Prospective Applicants

To assist applicants in preparing applications, the Department will host a TA meeting via Microsoft Teams for applicants interested in applying on:

Tuesday March 21, 2023 at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time

Click here to join the meeting

Archive Information

Innovative Approaches to Literacy

What’s New

The U.S. Department of Education published a Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) in the Federal Register on March 14 , 2023 for the fiscal year (FY) 2023 Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program competition, Assistance Listing Number 84.215G.

For more information about how to apply for an IAL grant, visit the Applicant Information page.

Call for Peer Reviewers

The Department is seeking peer reviewers for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant competition. We are seeking reviewers with demonstrated experience in the following professions: school and public library media specialists, reading and literacy specialists, Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade (PK-12) teachers and administrators, program evaluators, and PK-12 education consultants.  The Department seeks reviewers with experience implementing high quality literacy activities.  The Department is also seeking reviewers with knowledge of high needs communities and the challenges faced by students and their families.  Additionally, the most qualified candidates may have expertise in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, staff development, strategic planning, evaluation and prior experience reviewing grant applications for other Federal programs.

Please read through the instructions and complete the submissions process if you are interested in serving in this round of IAL grant competitions.

Program Description

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:

  • 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;
  • 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
  • provide high-quality books on a regular basis to children and adolescents from low-income communities to increase reading motivation, performance, and frequency.