Early Reading First

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

Early Reading First
programs must have a high-quality oral language and print-rich environment, and must monitor children's progress toward language, literacy, and cognitive goals using screening reading assessments and other appropriate measures.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Grants are designed to help early childhood centers improve their programs by creating centers of excellence that provide young children with language and cognitive skills, and an early reading foundation.


Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.



Program Accomplishments

Approximately 17,881 children and 2,283 teachers were served by this program in 2007.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Program funds support projects designed to help early childhood centers improve their programs by creating centers of excellence that provide preschool-age children with language and cognitive skills, and an early reading foundation.

Funds must be used to: enhance children's language, cognitive, and early reading skills through professional development for teachers; provide early language and reading development and instructional materials as developed from scientifically based reading research; provide preschool-age children with cognitive learning opportunities in high-quality language and literature-rich environments; use screening assessments to effectively identify preschool children who may be at risk for reading failure; and improve existing early childhood programs by integrating scientifically based reading research into all aspects of the program (including instructional materials, teaching strategies, curricula, parent engagement, and professional development).



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The following are eligible to apply for an Early Reading First grant: (1) One or more local educational agencies that are eligible to receive a Reading First State grant subgrant; (2) One or more public or private organizations of agencies, acting on behalf of one or more programs that serve preschool age children (such as a Head Start program, a child care program, an Even Start Family literacy program, a lab school at a university), located in a community that is eligible for a Reading First grant; (3) One or more local educational agencies described in (1), in collaboration with one or more organizations or agencies described in (2).

Beneficiary Eligibility

Early childhood staff and children in early childhood programs will benefit from this program.

Credentials/Documentation

None.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Eligible applicants who wish to receive an Early Reading First grant must submit a pre-application of no more than ten pages which addresses four criteria: the program's vision, program plan, continuity of services, and how they will measure the program's success.

The pre-application must also include an estimated budget.

Further information on preparing the pre-application can be found in the Federal Register and the Application package.

Only those submissions rated highly in this competitive peer review process and deemed to have the potential to become successful projects will be invited to submit full Early Reading First applications.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372,"Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Those applicants who are invited to submit a full application must prepare and submit them in accordance with the notice published in the Federal Register. By the due date, eligible applicants must submit to the U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, a complete application that addresses the purposes of the program, the selection criteria, the competitive priority included in the application notice, and includes all required assurances and signatures. Required assurances and certifications include: Assurances for Non-Construction Programs (SF 422B); Certification regarding Lobbying, Debarment; Suspension and Other Responsibility Matter, and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (ED Form 80-0013); Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF LLL) (if applicable); Response to Notice to All Applicants (Section 427, GEPA). Applications should also include a Cover Page (SF-424); the required Budget Form (ED Form 524); an itemized budget and other budget information; proof of eligibility; a project abstract; and a program narrative that includes responses to selection criteria. Applicants are encouraged to submit (1) one original and (2) copies of their application.

Award Procedures

The Department of Education notifies successful applicants of awards. Actual negotiations and awarding of grants is done by the Department's Grants and Contracts Service, in cooperation with the program staff. Contact the program office for more information.

Deadlines

Deadlines will be published in the Federal Register. Contact the program office for application deadlines and information.

Authorization

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as amended, Title I, Part B, Subpart 2.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The range of approval/disapproval time is approximately 60 to 120 days following the full application deadline.

Appeals

None.

Renewals

Applicants may apply for a project period of up to six years. Renewals are subject to the availability of appropriations.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

None.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Projects are funded for a period of up to six years. Renewals are subject to the availability of appropriations.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Progress reports must be submitted at the end of each budget period in order to receive continuation awards.

Performance reports must be submitted at the end of the grant period.

Audits

In accordance with the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR 80. State and local governments that receive financial assistance of $500,000 or more within the State's fiscal year shall have an audit made for that year. State and local governments that receive between $25,000 and $500,000 within the State's fiscal year shall have an audit made in accordance with the Appendix to EDGAR, Part 80.

Records

In accordance with the General Education Provisions Act and the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), certain records must be retained for 3 years.

Financial Information

Account Identification

91-0900-0-1-501.

Obigations

(Grants) FY 07 $117,666,280; FY 08 $112,548,812; and FY 09 est $112,549,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The average award was $3,593,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), Parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Department of Education, OESE Early Reading First Program 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20202 Contact: Rebecca Marek, E-mail: rebecca.marek@ed.gov. Telephone: (202) 260-0968 or Pilla Parker, E-mail: pilla.parker@ed.gov. Telephone (202) 260-3710.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The selection criteria will be included in the full application package and published in the Federal Register notice. For further information, contact the program office.



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