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April 21, 2016

Many Oregon Districts Qualify for Innovative Approaches to Literacy Grant


Your school district may qualify for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Fifty percent of the total grant funds are reserved to support library programs. Applications are due May 9th. Please check eligibility and share this information with district and ESD personnel if your district qualifies. If you notice a nearby school district on the list, please forward the information to a contact there.

Grant Purpose
"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, as defined in the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA)) and schools. The Department intends to support innovative programs that promote 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, and offering high-quality literacy activities..."

Grant Eligibility (General)
"Eligible Applicants: To be considered for an award under this competition, an applicant must:
(a) Be one of the following:
(1) A high-need LEA (as defined in this notice);
[2 - 5 list other qualifying conditions]
(b) Coordinate with school libraries in developing project proposals..."


"High-need local educational agency (High-need LEA) means—
(i) Except for LEAs referenced in paragraph (ii), an LEA in which at least 25 percent of the students aged 5-17 in the school attendance area of the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates for school districts for the most recent income year (Census list)..."

Grant Eligibility (Oregon)
By my count, 59 Oregon school districts qualify to apply for the IAL grant. Open the Oregon spreadsheet at the bottom of the Eligibility page. If your district is listed as having a 25% or higher poverty rate, it qualifies. Applications are due May 9th.

Oregon school districts have been awarded the grant in the past. Again, if yours qualifies, please share this information with district or ESD staff who might wish to apply.


Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
Oregon State Library