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Early Literacy Grant

Early Literacy Grant News

Comprehensive Early Literacy Grant (ELG) Cohort 5 Opportunity - Applications Closed

The application for the fifth Comprehensive ELG is now CLOSED. Applications were due Tuesday, December 15, 2020

There was an application information webinar on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. Access the recording here and slides here

Cohort 5 Application Documents

Request for Applications (RFA)

Program Assurances Form

Excel Budget Workbook

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

Important upcoming dates for current Comprehensive ELG grantees:


  • January 15th: Submit interim financial report reflecting expenditures to date.
  • Middle of year: With ELG consultant, evaluate data and review progress toward funding goals.


  • April 15th: If applicable, submit remaining budget change requests for the rest of the fiscal year.
  • April 30th: Submit up-to-date budget spreadsheet (in Excel format), including any approved budget changes.
  • May 1st: Submit finalized budget for the following fiscal year. (This gives CDE time to review.)
  • End of year: With ELG consultant, evaluate data and determine if funding goals were met

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 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.