The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) in collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) is pleased to announce a competitive federal grant opportunity Closing the Early Literacy Gap for Students with Disabilities Fund Code: 297 to support the development of literacy action plans. The purpose of this federal grant opportunity is to support the development of literacy action plans to enhance and better align educational systems, curriculum, and instructional practices across public pre-school and/or kindergarten programs, Head Start, and community center-based programs.

The implementation of the strategic action plans will help to ensure that all programs serving students with disabilities, ages 3-5, are effective, engaging, developmentally appropriate, and designed to create seamless transitions across environments and into the next phase of the student's education.

PRIORITIES

The priorities of this grant are to assemble study teams to develop a strategic literacy action plan with a focus on closing the early literacy gap for students with disabilities.

STUDY TEAMS

To develop the strategic literacy action plan, study teams* will meet over the course of the next five months (ending August 31, 2010) to:

1) Assess current language and literacy strategies and practices, with an emphasis on vocabulary, across all educational environments.

2) Assess how programs differentiate and embed literacy strategies across the curriculum areas (English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Technology/Engineering, History and Social Science, Health Education, Arts).

3) Assess how programs use information from students' IEPs to support language and literacy across the curriculum and into the life of the school.

*Study Teams must include a mix of public and community-based representatives.

ELIGIBILITY

Public school districts with preschool and/or kindergarten programs serving students with disabilities are eligible to apply.

Priority will be given to teams from districts that attended this statewide conference, Closing the Early Literacy Proficiency Gap.

The Grant, Closing the Early Literacy Gap for Students with Disabilities Fund Code: 297 will be posted soon on the Special Education Homepage. When posted, grant applications may be obtained using the following link: www.doe.mass.edu/sped .