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Early Literacy Grant

Early Literacy Grant News

Future ELG Comprehensive Cohort Opportunity

The department is working to determine if a fifth Comprehensive ELG cohort is possible and if so, what the funding opportunity would be. Communication on any potential cohort will be released through the READ Act listserv and The Scoop

The Comprehensive ELG 2020 – 2021 timeline can be found here.

Important Fall 2020 dates for Comprehensive ELG grantees:

September 30th

  • Submit annual financial report. This provides an account of funds not obligated by June 30th of the prior year and provides CDE with the actual unspent funds from fiscal year 2019-2020.
  • Complete the beginning-of-year contact information collection form. (If you have contact updates throughout the year, please complete this brief form.)

November 1st

  • Submit up-to-date budget spreadsheet (in Excel format), including any approved budget changes.
  • Submit programming transition plan (if your core, supplemental, and/or intervention programming is no longer in compliance with the 2020 Advisory List of Instructional Programming).

History and Purpose

In 2012, the Colorado READ Act established an Early Literacy Grant Program. This is a comprehensive grant program focused on system-wide early literacy efforts. In 2018, House Bill 18-1393, revised the READ Act to expand Early Literacy Grants to include two additional grant programs - Sustainability Grants for those completing a Comprehensive Early Literacy Grant and an Annual Literacy Professional Development Grant.

SB 19-199 amended the Colorado READ Act and incorporated changes to the Early Literacy Grant program requiring an update to the rules. The state board approved the amended rules for the administration of the Early Literacy Grant program during the September board meeting. Updates include increased funding, additional reporting requirements and training for K-3 teachers.

Early Literacy Grant Rules

Comprehensive Early Literacy Grant Program

Established in 2012, the Comprehensive Early Literacy Grant (ELG) Program is a comprehensive approach to improving early literacy, focused on implementing and sustaining scientifically and evidence-based reading instruction. The Comprehensive Early Literacy Grant 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 Early Literacy Grant 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.
  • Help 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.


Timeline: Comprehensive Early Literacy Grant Program

Cohort 1: 2013 - 2016

Launched consisting of 30 schools from 15 districts in 7/8 regions of the state.

Cohort 2: 2016 - 2019

Launched consisting of 21 schools from 14 districts in 6/8 regions of the state.

Cohort 3: 2017 - 2020

Launched consisting of 11 schools from 6 districts in 5/8 regions of the state.

Cohort 4: Spring 2019 - 2022

Launched consisting of 30 schools from 19 districts in 7/8 regions of the state.


Annual Literacy Professional Development Grant Program

Through a competitive application process, local education providers received funding to support the implementation of evidence-based reading programming and strategies. CDE awarded grants to 10 applicants, out of an applicant pool of 24, totaling approximately $500,000.
House Bill 18-1393, the revised READ Act, authorized the Early Literacy Grant Annual Professional Development (ELG PD) Program. This grant opportunity is geared to support Colorado educators in the implementation of scientifically and evidence-based reading programming and strategies for K-3 students. An effort championed by the State Board of Education, these funds are specifically intended for early literacy professional development for elementary educators.

Sustainability Grant

Cohort 3 participants applied to receive additional funding to continue their efforts through the 2020-2021 school year. The 6 eligible current ELG Cohort 3 consortia (totaling 10 schools) received a total of $750,000.

ELG Resources

Helpful Forms

There was an informational webinar about the new ELG budget submission process on Wednesday, September 16th. Access the recording and slides.