Dear Montana Teacher Librarians,

Please take a few minutes to read this announcement from the U.S. Department of Education for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program applications.  The following "Purpose of the Program" statement gives a clear overview.  I hope that you will consider applying for this grant if your school is eligible.  

Purpose of Program: The IAL program supports high-quality programs designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade in high-need local educational agencies (high-need LEAs)and schools.

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) intends to promote innovative literacy programs that support the development of literacy skills in low-income communities, including programs that

(1) develop and enhance effective school library programs, which may include providing professional development for school librarians, books, and up-to-date materials to high-need schools;
(2) provide early literacy services, including pediatric literacy programs through which, during well-child visits, medical providers trained in research-based methods of early language and literacy promotion provide developmentally appropriate books and recommendations to parents to encourage them to read aloud to their children starting in infancy; and
(3) provide high-quality books on a regular basis to children and adolescents from low-income communities to increase reading motivation, performance, and frequency. The IAL program supports the implementation of high-quality plans for childhood literacy activities and book distribution efforts that demonstrate a rationale.

In accordance with the Senate report accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, S. Rep. No. 115-150, at 163 (2017), the Department will reserve no less than 50 percent of funds under the IAL program for grants to develop and enhance effective school library programs, which may include providing professional development to librarians in high-need schools or books and other up-to-date library materials to such schools. Further, the Department will ensure that grants are distributed among eligible entities that will serve geographically diverse areas, including rural areas.


  • Applications Available: April 18, 2018.
  • Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 18, 2018.
  • Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 17, 2018.


Beth Yeh, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3E230, Washington, DC 20202-6450. Telephone: (202) 205-5798. Email:

Colet Bartow
Director, Content Standards and Instruction