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History and Purpose
In 2012, the Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act established the Comprehensive Early Literacy Grant (ELG) Program, a comprehensive approach to improving early literacy, focused on implementing and sustaining scientifically and evidence-based reading instruction. The Comprehensive ELG Program provides money to local education providers (LEPs) to implement literacy support and intervention instruction programs to help kindergarten and first-, second-, and third-grade students achieve reading competency.
The Comprehensive ELG Program is focused on system-wide early literacy efforts and implementing and sustaining scientifically and evidence-based reading instruction. It is designed to improve students’ reading competency by supporting local education providers’ establishment of the essential components of reading instruction into kindergarten through third grade (K-3) teaching structures.
In 2018, the Colorado State Board of Education updated the Rules for the Administration of the Early Literacy Grant Program to stipulate that the Comprehensive ELG will be implemented as a four-year grant cycle. Year 1 will serve as a planning and initial implementation year, followed by three years of operationalizing the grant. Upon completion of the four-year cycle, grantees will have the opportunity to apply for an additional one-year Sustainability Grant.
Benefits of the Comprehensive ELG Program
The program is designed to distribute funds to local education providers, including school districts, BOCES, and district charter schools or Institute Charter Schools, to ensure the essential components of reading instruction are embedded into all elements of the primary, K-3 teaching structures in all schools, including universal and targeted and intensive instructional interventions, to assist all students in achieving reading competency.
Through the Comprehensive ELG Program, the Colorado Department of Education:
- Assists grantees in establishing instructional systems based on Scientifically Based Reading Research to improve the quality of reading instruction for all K – 3 students.
- Helps schools implement a multi-tiered support system to reduce the number of students reading below grade level.
- Provides professional development to principals, teachers and intervention teachers on effective instructional practices and the underlying teaching infrastructures to improve reading achievement among K – 3 students.
- Assists grantees in administering and interpreting approved interim and diagnostic assessments pursuant to the READ Act.
- Supports implementation of school-wide literacy programs as well as programs designed for targeted and intensive instructional interventions.
- Assists grantees with testing schedules and interpreting assessment data.
Allowable Uses of Funds
Funding must support the grantee’s K-3 literacy program: Funds may be used for activities, staff, materials, and other purchases that help embed the essential components of reading instruction into all elements of the K-3 teaching structures in schools. Funds may only supplement and not supplant any moneys currently used for this purpose.
Uses that will be considered for funding include, but are not limited to:
- Supplemental staff salary, stipends, and/or benefits;
- CDE-approved instructional programming and related training from vendor-approved providers;
- CDE-approved assessments and related training from vendor-approved providers;
- Professional development from the CDE-approved Topic-Specific Advisory List of Professional Development list;
- CDE-approved ELG Implementation Consultant support;
- Travel, registration, and entrance costs to attend in-state training and conferences; and
- SBRR-aligned instructional materials (specific to the K-3 literacy program).
Comprehensive ELG Grantees
Cohort 1: 2013/2014 - 2015/2016
Cohort 1 consisted of 30 schools from 15 districts in 7/8 regions of the state.
Cohort 2: 2016/2017 - 2018/2019
Cohort 2 consisted of 21 schools from 14 districts in 6/8 regions of the state.
Cohort 3: 2017/2018 - 2019/2020
Cohort 3 consisted of 11 schools from 6 districts in 5/8 regions of the state.
Cohort 4: 2018/2019 - 2021/2022
Cohort 4 consisted of 30 schools from 19 districts in 7/8 regions of the state.
Cohort 5: 2020/2021 - 2023/2024
Cohort 5 consists of 32 schools from 22 districts in 4/8 regions of the state.
Cohort 6: 2022/2023 - 2025/2026
Cohort 6 consists of 27 schools from 13 districts in 6/8 regions of the state.
Comprehensive Early Literacy Grant Program: Principal Leadership Institute (ELG/PLI)
To further support ELG grantees in full implementation of Science of Reading by providing extensive training and a network of support for recommended principal coaches.
2023-2024 ELG/PLI Application Information
2023-2024 Early Literacy Grant Program: Principal Leadership Institute RFA (including application link)
2023-2024 ELG/PLI Application Information Webinar