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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2023: Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM), Preschool

Fund Code: 508


The Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM) preschool 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.

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
  • Development and strengthening of partnerships with EEC-licensed community-based preschool providers

This Grant (FC508) is for districts seeking GLEAM funding for preschool Only. Districts seeking GLEAM funding for a multi-grade span that includes preschool should apply for GLEAM PreK–5 (FC509)


DESE seeks to award entities that can demonstrate:

  • Involvement of a range of stakeholders and EEC-licensed community partners in developing and committing to the activities articulated in the grant proposal
  • 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
  • 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;

Competitive Priorities

  1. Competitive priority will be given to entities with at least one school:

    1. identified as requiring assistance in the state accountability system based upon 2019 data and/or
    2. with an overall accountability percentile of 20 or below based upon 2019 data.

  2. Additional competitive priority will be given to entities whose total students 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 low income (or 40% for high schools).
  4. Additional competitive priority will be given to districts and schools in chronically underperforming status and the Strategic Transformation Region

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

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

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. No more than 20 classrooms can apply for FC508 funding. Districts must also commit to partnering with at least two EEC-licensed community partner programs and ensure a balanced proportion of district and non-district preschool classrooms

LEAs in the Strategic Transformation Region may be awarded multiple awards to account for alternative governance structures

Applicants may be asked to interview with DESE specialists during the grant scoring process.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA 84.371


Approximately $675,000 will be available for FY2023.

Recipients may be eligible for continuations to continue for up to two additional years in the GLEAM program. Over the course of the program (FY2023 – FY2025), recipients may be eligible for funding based on enrollment, needs, and performance. Up to approximately $1,800,000 total is anticipated for this second cohort of recipients.

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 up to 2.5 years for recipients to accomplish the grant activities:

  • Evaluating and selecting high quality preschool core curricular materials
  • Purchase of the selected materials.
  • 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
  • Completion of a comprehensive early learning systems analysis that will act as the foundation for district and community partners' plan for improving preschool teaching and learning experiences for all students, especially those who have been historically underserved
  • If the grantee does not yet have community partners identified to include in this grant, the systems analysis will support the identification of community partners to participate in the grant with the district. Districts will be required to partner with at least two community partners.

Following the 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.

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

Project Duration:

Upon Approval (anticipated February 2023) – August 31, 2023

Depending on district-determined timelines, the GLEAM program grant activities will run 2–3 years. A continuation will be available for funding in FY24 and FY25 (Upon Approval (anticipated October 1, 2023) – August 31, 2024 and Upon Approval (anticipated October 1, 2024) – August 31, 2025) to enact the GLEAM program. Continuation funding is not guaranteed.

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. 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

Date Due:

Monday, December 12, 2022*

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

*All responses must be received by the due date listed above. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Responses not submitted on time will not be reviewed. Applicants applying after the due date may be notified their application was received late and will not be reviewed. Applications must be submitted as directed in the Submissions Instructions below. Failure to do so may result in disqualification. If you need assistance with submitting your application, please reach out to the contact person listed on this funding opportunity.

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. If your district needs to cover Indirect Costs, please use this FY23 Indirect Cost Calculator to do so.

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 FY21–FY25, under the program name GLEAM (Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts).

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.

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] Fund Code 508

Please use the provided file types (Word and Excel). Please do not send jpgs or other file types. Signature pages should be sent as 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 Eastern on the due date.

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

Last Updated: November 7, 2022

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