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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2022: Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM), Preschool

Fund Code: 508A


The Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM) preschool competitive grant is a collaboration between the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). This grant will support recipients to increase local access to high quality preschool, through preschool classrooms run by districts, enabling the preschool system to better serve all children, especially historically underserved students; and ensuring that all children can reach their potential in language and literacy development.

This grant is for GLEAM K–5 recipients who wish to extend the work they're doing in K-5 into preschool.

GLEAM Preschool grants will support entities committed to improving local access to high quality preschool classrooms through funding the following activities:

  • Adoption of high-quality core curriculum and associated instructional materials
  • Adoption of a valid and reliable early language and literacy screening assessment as part of a larger screening protocol that includes developmental screening
  • Professional development and support for teachers, principals, community-based program leadership and literacy coaches
  • Systemic attention to building local preschool quality and addressing barriers to access, particularly for children who have been historically underserved.

DESE offers this grant to districts participating in GLEAM K–5 in order to extend the impact of that work into the district's preschool classrooms, and create aligned high-quality ELA/literacy experiences from preschool upwards into the elementary grades. DESE seeks to award entities that can demonstrate:

  • Understanding of, and commitment to, the activities required to align and build the quality of preschool instruction;
  • A plan to understand the quality of preschool currently available in order to improve literacy experiences for all preschool children, particularly those who have been historically underserved;
  • Involvement of a range of stakeholders in developing and committing to the activities articulated in the grant proposal

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.

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

  3. Additional competitive priority will be given to applications in which over 50% of schools named to participate in GLEAM serve a population of students of which over 50% are identified as economically disadvantaged.


Public school districts, charters, or collaboratives that are awarded the GLEAM K–5 program grant (Fund Code 509).

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA 84.371


Approximately $91,800 will be available for FY2022. DESE expects to award up to approximately 9 grantees to begin in FY2022.

Recipients will be eligible for continuations to continue for up to two additional years in the GLEAM program. Over the course of the program (FY2022 – FY2024), recipients will be eligible for total awards up to approximately $56,100 per grantee based upon enrollment and needs. Up to approximately $505,000 total is available for the first cohort of recipients.

The funding will be available to entities awarded a GLEAM K–5 grant who would like to include public preschool classrooms in the work of the K–5 grant over a 3 year period beginning in the fall of 2021 (FY2022).

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.

Recipients will need to provide detailed cost information to DESE to demonstrate compliance with grant priorities and approved fund uses in order to draw down funds over the grant period.

Fund Use:

This grant will provide funding as well as hands-on support from DESE and EEC Department specialists over a 3 year period for recipients to accomplish the grant activities:

  • Evaluating and selecting high quality preschool core curricular materials for ELA/literacy
  • Purchase of the selected materials. This grant will fund half the cost of procurement of ELA/Literacy curricular materials, with the other half paid by the applicant
  • Professional development for teachers and administrators to support skillful and culturally responsive implementation of the new curricular materials
  • Purchase of a high quality screening assessment(s) designed to inform instruction in ELA/Literacy and professional development to utilize the assessment(s)
  • Customized support from an expert literacy consultant onsite periodically throughout the grant period, responsive to the needs of the school

Following the 3 year grant period, recipients are expected to continue implementing the materials and practices initiated by this grant and will have access to ongoing assistance from DESE and EEC specialists as needed. LEAs may distribute the funds for a maximum of 10 preschool classrooms across the schools already participating in the funded GLEAM K–5 grant program. Districts with a separate preschool school may identify a maximum of 10 preschool classrooms for funding.

For more details about Fund Use, please see the Fund Use Details attachment.

Project Duration:

FY2022 (Upon Approval – August 31, 2022).

Depending on district-determined timelines, the GLEAM program grant activities will run 2–3 years. A continuation will be available for funding in FY2023 and FY2024 (October 1, 2022 – August 31, 2023 and October 1, 2023 – August 31, 2024) to enact the full multi-year GLEAM program. Districts with funds remaining on August 31 may request an extension to September 30 with no additional funds awarded.

Note that grant funds will only be approved to fund the sequence of activities listed in the Fund Use Details attachment. The three annual budgets should reflect the activities in this sequence and should align to the district's K–5 plans. Initial awards will be partial and additional funds will be awarded based upon availability and recipient performance over the 3 year program period.

Program Unit:

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


Allison Pickens Email:

Date Due:

Monday, July 12, 2021

Proposals must be received by the Department by 5:00 PM on the date due.

Required Forms:

Note on Budget Details.
Please use the provided Budget template to calculate each annual budget. Costs for some items, like curriculum purchases, cannot be accurately budgeted until the actual product to be purchased is identified. In those cases, the Budget template provides estimates to be used in the application. DESE will make partial awards initially in Summer 2021, to cover the costs of initial GLEAM activities, and will increase the awards later in FY2022 based upon recipients' specific program needs and performance in the grant program.

Additional Information:

The Department 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 2021–2025, under the program name Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM).

GLEAM Preschool funds may be used to support work in existing public preschool classrooms or new classrooms that are being opened. However, applicants should be aware that GLEAM Preschool fund use is limited and will not fund many of the costs associated with opening new preschool classrooms beyond the procurement of literacy curriculum and associated materials.

A second cohort of GLEAM grant recipients will be selected to begin receiving funding in FY2023. LEAs that participated in GLEAM Cohort 1 may be eligible to apply for another round of funding for GLEAM Cohort 2. Receipt of funding for Cohort 1 does not guarantee receipt of funding for Cohort 2.

GLEAM recipients will be required to prepare and provide data requested by the Department in order to evaluate the effectiveness of grant funds and activities. In the first year, this data will be primarily focused on inputs, such as numbers of teachers trained or materials purchased. In future years, this data will focus on outcomes, such as student performance on assessments. In addition, a national evaluation of this federally-funded program is being conducted; recipients will have the option to opt in to this national evaluation and to access additional related funding through the evaluator.

Any questions about GLEAM grants must be emailed to . Q+A will be posted to Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM) Grant Program.

Information webinars about GLEAM grants and assistance for applicants will be offered. Please check Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM) Grant Program for details.

Submission Instructions:

Please email the five required forms as listed above and in the correct format, attached to a single email, to . Please use the subject line: FC508A GLEAM Preschool Proposal from [Entity Name]

Please use the provided file types (Word and Excel). Please do not send jpgs or other file types. Signature pages should be sent as Word or PDF documents and must contain an image of a "wet signature." Typed digital signatures are not permissible.

Applicants will receive a confirmation when the materials are received. Early submission is strongly encouraged to ensure the complete application is received and confirmed by 5:00 PM 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: May 11, 2021

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