National Institute for Literacy

To provide national leadership regarding literacy; to coordinate literacy services and policy; and to serve as a national resource for adult education and literacy programs through dissemination.

Examples of Funded Projects

The Institute has funded development of research-based publications on adult reading instruction: Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults: First Steps for Teachers and Teaching Adults to Read: A Summary of Scientifically Based Research Principles.

It has contributed $10 million to a national research program to build understanding of how adults learn to read and how to teach reading to adults effectively.

Through a national survey, the Institute is exploring the relationships between adult literacy policies and student outcomes to learn more about the contributions policy can make.

It also has convened regional summits on health literacy and a national summit on strengthening instruction and improving performance management in community literacy initiatives.

The Institute is working with nationally recognized experts and stakeholders to plan new initiatives to fill gaps in knowledge and services in the areas of adult English language acquisition, adult literacy, workforce basic skills development, and education and employment outcomes for youth with learning disabilities.

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.

Website Address

Program Accomplishments

The Institute has created the Literacy Information and Communications System (LINCS), on information and communication network on the Internet that provides information on effective literacy practices.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Projects cannot duplicate activities being performed by the Secretary of Education.

This program is governed by an interagency group made up of the Secretaries of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Public and private nonprofit institutions may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

State literacy resource centers, individuals, universities, and education organizations benefit.



Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Application procedures are set forth in the announcements in the Federal Register or FebBizops.

Award Procedures

Announcements are made in the Federal Register or the Commerce Business Daily. Contact the headquarters office for details.


Dates are published in the Federal Register. Contact the headquarters office for particular project deadlines.


Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Section 242.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The range is approximately 60-90 days.


Appeals can be made directly to the Director of the National Institute for Literacy.


If funding is available, renewals are possible for multi-year grants.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The length of grants vary depending upon the type of project.

Post Assistance Requirements


Reporting requirements are included in grant documents.

Contact the program office for additional information.


Audits as required by EDGAR.


In accordance with Section 443 of the General Education Provisions Act, grantees must maintain records for three years.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants and Contracts) FY 07 $3,989,000; FY 08 est $3,906,000; and FY 09 $3,906,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Varies considerable depending on the project.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Federal Acquisition Regulations and EDGAR apply.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

National Institute for Literacy, 1775 I Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006. Contact: Director, NIL. Telephone: (202) 233-2025. E-mail address:

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

For specific criteria on individual grants, the Institute should be contacted.

The Great Social Enterprise Pitch, a project of Assets Lancaster and the Lancaster County Community Foundation, has now opened its voting portal for people who will donate money to the projects they like best.

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