Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2021: Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM): Collaboration and Preparation

Fund Code: 507


The purpose of this competitive GLEAM Collaboration and Preparation grant is to support entities to develop strong proposals for the forthcoming GLEAM program grants. For more information about GLEAM, see "Additional Information" below.

DESE expects detailed and thoughtful proposals for the forthcoming GLEAM program grant opportunities, developed by a team with representation from each participating school, including teachers and administrators, as well as district administrators, families, community partners, and students as applicable. This GLEAM Collaboration and Preparation grant is offered to financially support the time required for that collaborative effort.

Recipients of this grant will also have access to technical assistance from DESE staff to develop proposals for the GLEAM program grants.


DESE seeks to award GLEAM grants to entities that:

  • Demonstrate understanding of, and commitment to, the activities required to build and sustain multi-tiered systems of support for literacy
  • Involve a range of diverse stakeholders, including families, diverse staff members, and students if applicable, in developing and committing to the activities articulated in the grant proposal
  • Demonstrate leadership capacity to lead a multi-year literacy initiative, across multiple schools if applicable.

Competitive Priorities

  1. Competitive priority will be given to entities with at least one school:
    • identified as requiring assistance in the state accountability system based upon 2019 data and/or

    • with an overall accountability percentile of 20 or below based upon 2019 data.

      For reference, 2019 accountability data Download Excel Document is publicly available.

  2. Additional competitive priority will be given to entities whose total student population is comprised of 10% or more students identified as English learners.

Competitive priorities are all additive, i.e., applicants may be awarded competitive priority points for one or both priorities.


Public school districts and charter schools meeting the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • With at least one school in which the percentage of students identified as economically disadvantaged is 50% or greater; and/or
  • With at least one high school in which the percentage of students identified as economically disadvantaged is 40% or greater

A group of eligible LEAs (public school districts and/or charters schools) may apply as a consortium convened by a lead fiscal agent, which may be a collaborative.

The list of eligible LEAs Download Excel Document is available in the attached spreadsheet.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA 84.371


A total of approximately $250,000 is available and will be distributed to as many applicants as possible based upon competitive priorities and quality of proposals.

  • An entity comprised of 1–3 schools may apply for a maximum of $3,000.
  • An entity comprised of 4–12 schools may apply for a maximum of $5,000.
  • An entity comprised of 13 or more schools may apply for a maximum of $8,000.

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available, it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.

Fund Use:

GLEAM Collaboration and Preparation grant funds may be used to:

  • fund consultation with experts in areas related to the GLEAM program grant to inform planning and support the development of a high-quality GLEAM program grant proposal
  • stipend district and/or school staff members to engage in collaborative planning
  • purchase supplies or materials to support collaborative work as needed.

Project Duration:

Upon award through June 30, 2021

DESE expects to announce awards for FC507, GLEAM Collaboration and Preparation, in February 2021. GLEAM program grant opportunities will be made available on or before that time.

Program Unit:

Office of Literacy and Humanities
Center for Instructional Support (CIS)


Woodly Pierre-Louis

Date Due:

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Excel Document
Part II — Budget Workbook (include both pages)
Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information

Additional Information:

Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM) K–12 grants will support deep and lasting improvements to schools' multitiered system of support for Literacy, enabling schools to better serve all students, especially historically underserved students; and ensuring that all students can reach their literacy potential. A multitiered system of support, or MTSS, is an evidence-based approach to providing culturally responsive, tiered instruction to enable academic success of all students.

GLEAM grants will support schools to implement components of a multi-tiered system of support for ELA/Literacy in grades K–12, which have been shown to promote equity of access and achievement for diverse students. These include:

  • Adoption of high-quality core curricular materials and intervention materials
  • Adoption of a valid and reliable early literacy screening assessment
  • Professional development and support for teachers, principals, and literacy coaches

DESE is expanding grant support for ELA/literacy over the next 5 years. Using federal CLSD funding, the Department expects to award $19 million in grants to support improvements in ELA/literacy teaching and learning in preK–12 between FY2022–FY2025, under the program name GLEAM: Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts. DESE expects to offer approximately $9.3 million under the GLEAM program in FY2022, the first year of the program.

The RFP(s) for the FY2022 GLEAM programs grants will be posted on or around Jan. 22, 2021 and responses will be due on or around April 22, 2021.

GLEAM program grants, beginning in FY2022, will provide funding to schools for a range of ELA and literacy teaching and learning improvement activities in preK–12, such as:

  • Purchase of high-quality core curriculum materials and intervention materials
  • Professional development for teachers, principals, and literacy coaches
  • Purchase of valid and reliable early literacy screening assessment
  • Expansion and enhancement of high-quality preK

DESE anticipates awarding up to 20 GLEAM program grants in FY2022 with an award range of approximately $100,000–1,500,000 per recipient based upon enrollment, needs, quality of proposal, and funding availability. For up-to-date information on GLEAM, please visit GLEAM Grant Program webpage.

Receiving this Collaboration and Preparation grant (FC507) is not a guarantee of receiving later GLEAM program grants. Entities best-positioned to receive GLEAM program grants will be able to demonstrate:

  • ELA/Literacy as an established priority area for improvement in at least one grade span
  • An individual with content expertise and dedicated capacity at the district/entity level to lead the GLEAM work across schools
  • Interest in and commitment to deep and sustained work on ELA/literacy systems of support through the GLEAM program

DESE recommends that entities establish a representative team of educators from the district, participating schools, and community to collaboratively develop the GLEAM program grant proposals.

Entities applying for GLEAM program grants for FY2022 will be required to target their proposals at one grade band, either preK–5 or 6–12. However, entities do not need to make that decision at this time in order to receive this Collaboration and Preparation grant (FC507).

Any grant related questions must be emailed to Woodly Pierre-Louis. Questions and answers will be posted at GLEAM Grant Program webpage.

Submission Instructions:

Please email the three required documents as listed above, attached to a single email, to , using the subject line FC507 Proposal from [Entity name].

Please use the following file formats:

  • Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants) — Word document
  • Part II — Budget Details Pages Workbook — Excel spreadsheet
  • Part III — Required Program Information — Word document

Please do not submit PDFs, JPEGs or other file formats.

Applicants will receive a confirmation when the required forms are received. Early submission is strongly encouraged in order to ensure the complete application is received and confirmed by 5pm on the due date.

Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget and Part I in EdGrants. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Last Updated: December 23, 2020

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