I submitted an Early Literacy grant application recently (fingers crossed!). Grant writing is a long, laborious, boring process, but it can result in free money to do awesome stuff. I’ll spare you the details of the nitty gritties, but I wanted to post some of what I submitted.
Please provide an overview of the program.
We will make good quality educational apps available to families with children aged 2-5. Many families cannot afford the hardware required to access these learning tools, and they don’t know how to develop their young children’s early literacy skills in a digital environment. We will use this grant money to purchase iPads and age appropriate, literacy-supportive, interactive educational apps; and to provide educational programming for parents and children about how to foster early literacy through interactive technology. The iPads will be available for use by families with young children at the Palo Alto Children’s Library. These iPads will have 10-12 professionally selected apps pre-loaded onto them, and some of the capabilities of the device will be shut down in order to maintain their function as an Early Literacy tool.
Provide a description of how the program will demonstrate success in increasing the reading proficiency of elementary students.
Studies show that introducing young children to good quality, interactive media can help them gain the vital early literacy skills they will need when they begin to read. Providing this kind of technology and know-how to people who may not have access to it otherwise can help economically disadvantaged families give their children the skills they will need to be successful in life.
What are the anticipated outcomes of the program?
Families who participate in this program will see an improvement in their young child’s reading readiness: increased phonological awareness, print awareness, letter knowledge, print motivation, vocabulary, and narrative skills.
What key metrics do you plan on collecting to determine if the outcomes have been achieved?
We will survey participants about their digital early literacy interactions. Can their young children trace letters with their fingers? Can they finish rhyming sentences? Has the child developed kinetic skills (turning electronic pages etc)? Did the child gain new vocabulary?