Striving Readers

To raise student achievement by improving the reading skills of middle and high school students who are reading below grade level.

Striving Readers supports the implementation and evaluation of research-based reading interventions for struggling middle and high school readers in Title I-eligible
schools at risk of not meeting or not meeting annual yearly progress requirements under the ESEA and/or that have significant percentages or numbers of students reading below grade level.

Examples of Funded Projects

The program provides funds mainly to local school districts to implement and evaluate reading intervention programs for secondary school students who currently read below grade level.


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

In fiscal year 2006, 8 awards were made. In the first year of its implementation, the 2006-07 school year, the program served over 36,000 secondary school students.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Successful applicants must use these funds to carry out the activities described in their approved applications.

Striving Reader programs include supplemental literacy intervention strategies targeted to students who are reading significantly below grade level; cross-disciplinary strategies for improving student literacy that may include professional development for subject matter teachers and use of research-based reading strategies in classrooms across subject areas; and a strong experimental evaluation component.

Grant recipients, must, for example, use funds for reasonable costs needed to implement a supplemental literacy intervention, which may include additional staff time for extra periods of instruction, age-appropriate reading materials for struggling adolescent readers, assessment instruments, professional development opportunities for staff focused on literacy, and evaluation.

Funds must be used in Title I-eligible public schools serving grades 6-12 with significant numbers of students reading below grade level.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The following are eligible to apply for a Striving Readers grant: (1) One or more local educational agencies (LEAs) that receive Title I funds and have one or more high schools or middle schools with significant numbers of students reading below grade level and are at risk of not meeting or are not meeting Title I annual yearly progress requirements; (2) Intermediate service agencies on behalf of one or more local educational agencies that receive Title I funds and have one or more high schools or middle schools with significant numbers of students reading below grade level and are at risk of not meeting or are not meeting Title I annual yearly progress requirements; or (3) Partnerships that may include public or private institutions of higher education, eligible nonprofit or for-profit organizations (or consortia of such institutions or organizations), and LEAs that have one or more high schools or middle schools with significant numbers of students reading below grade level and are at risk of not meeting or are not meeting Title I adequate yearly progress requirements.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Adolescent students (in grades 6-12) who are reading below grade level. LEAs that have one or more high schools or middle schools with significant numbers of students reading below grade level or that are at risk of not meeting or are not meeting Title I adequate yearly progress requirements.

Credentials/Documentation

None.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Eligible applicants that wish to receive a Striving Readers grant must submit a pre-application of no more than ten pages that addresses four criteria: the supplemental literacy intervention targeted to students who are reading significantly below grade level; a description of the cross disciplinary plan for improving student literacy, and the experimental evaluation design (including identification and qualifications of the researchers who will carry out the evaluation).

The pre-application must also include an estimated budget.

Only those submissions rated highly in this competitive peer review process and deemed to have the potential to become successful projects are invited to submit full Striving Readers applications.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

Those applicants that are invited to submit a full application must prepare and submit one in accordance with the notice that will be 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 (SF424); 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. 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.

Award Procedures

The Department of Education notifies successful applicants of awards. Contact the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at StrivingReaders@ed.gov 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 E, Section 1502.

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 five years. Renewals are subject to the availability of appropriations and satisfactory progress.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

None.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Projects are funded for a period of up to five years. Renewals are subject to the availability of appropriations and satisfactory progress.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Semi-annual progress reports must be submitted during each budget period in order to receive continuation awards.

Final performance reports and a final evaluation report must be submitted after 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 $100,000 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 $100,000 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 three years.

Financial Information

Account Identification

91-0900-0-1-501.

Obigations

FY 07 $31,870,000; FY 08 $35,371,080; and FY 09 est $100,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The average continuation award in 2007 was $3,952,500.

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

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Room 3C118, Washington DC 20202. Contact: Marcia J. Kingman, E-mail: marcia.kingman@ed.gov; Telephone: (202) 401-0003.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The selection criteria will be included in the full application package and published in the federal register notice. For additional information e-mail StrivingReaders@ed.gov.



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