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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

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

Fund Code: 508C


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 and EEC-licensed early education programs, 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.

GLEAM Preschool grants will support entities committed to improving local access to high quality preschool classrooms through 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

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 vision for identified classrooms to participate effectively in evaluating, selecting, and implementing high quality curricular materials to support the development of literacy skills for all children, especially those who have been historically underserved;
  • Involvement of a range of stakeholders in developing and committing to the activities articulated in the grant proposal, including leadership from EEC-licensed programs and other community-based organizations that are participating in grant activities; and
  • Capacity at the district level to coordinate and implement grant activities and administer funds through a multi-year initiative across multiple early education classrooms in the district and community partners

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


Any public school districts or charter school 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 charter schools) may apply as a consortium convened by a lead fiscal agent, which may be a collaborative.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA 84.371


Approximately $220,000 is available for FY2022. DESE expects to award up to 4 grantees to begin in FY2022. Over the course of the program (FY2022 – FY2024) recipients will be eligible for total awards up to approximately $142,000. Up to $565,000 is expected to be available throughout the funding period.

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.

The funding will be available to support improvement and alignment of instructional materials and practices in preschool classrooms run by both the district and community-based partners 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.

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 following grant activities:

  • Bring on a consultant to help conduct a comprehensive community needs assessment to identify barriers to accessing high-quality preschool
  • Evaluating and selecting high quality preschool core curricular materials that address ELA/literacy
  • Purchase of the selected materials for up to 8 classrooms
  • 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)
  • Stipends for a "GLEAM Leadership Team." This team will work together to coordinate and enact the multi-year work of this initiative, across schools if applicable

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 identify up to 8 classrooms to participate (distributed across any number of schools and EEC Licensed and community-based programs).

GLEAM Preschool funds may be used to support work in existing public preschool classrooms and/or community-based partners classrooms.

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

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – August 31, 2022 (FY22)

A continuation will be available for funding in FY2023 (Upon Approval (no earlier than October 1, 2022) – August 31, 2023) and FY2024 (Upon Approval (no earlier than October 1, 2023) – August 31, 2024) to enact the full multi-year GLEAM program.

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 that activities in this sequence. 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 26, 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 costs of initial GLEAM activities, and will increase the awards later in FY2022 based upon recipients' specific program needs and performance in the grants.

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 FY2022–FY2025, under the program name GLEAM (Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts).

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 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.

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

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:
FC508C GLEAM Preschool Proposal from [LEA 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.

Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget in EdGrants and upload required documents. Grant recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Last Updated: June 17, 2021

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