U.S. Federal Resources and Grant Opportunities
Numerous departments in the U.S. federal government offer resources and grants related to literacy projects and programs. Literacy is a major issue in the Department of Education, for example. A fair portion of federal literacy funds go to surveying the states and counties to determine changes in levels of illiteracy and mapping pockets of overriding illiteracy.
Beyond the cost of these surveys the data must be analyzed. The suggested outcomes must be reviewed by statisticians and experts. After that the results are reduced to prose, with charts, graphs, and maps suitable for publication in book form.
Surprising information flows out of these research efforts, causing state and regional agencies and schools to shift resources toward whatever each new survey indicates. These are valuable and highly instructive. Although the publications reveal bad news about our near-bottom placement among literate nations, we have a basis for focusing more sharply on solutions and remedies.
Persons seeking work in the field of literacy or teaching reading, or remedial reading should look at the job board at the NAEPDC - the National Education Professional Development Consortium. http://naepdc.org/job_bank/job_bank_home.html
Where local literacy programs already exist, if you wish to "scale up" the effectiveness or influence of a literacy program, this document is a timely guide with options for requesting new funds from federal sources. Forms with questions to be answered are included. http://naepdc.org/GTScorrected3.11.doc
The National Institute for Literacy (NIL) has an annotated bibliography of 7,558 resources that are useful to teachers, language lab administrators, and Literacy volunteers.
A similar NIL library and bibliography of 4,362 articles and resources for administrators and managers is at this address:
The International Reading Association is typical of agencies with grant monies who occasionally request proposals. Examples are here:
This text is lifted from their web site as an example: "Request for proposals: The first step in improving reading instruction is to provide rigorous and accurate descriptions of how reading is being taught in the classroom. Toward that end, the Institute is soliciting proposals for a study of reading instruction in a nationally representative sample of first and fourth grade classrooms in the United States. This description will form the foundation for further study of what constitutes effective reading instruction. The Request For Proposals outlines the study goals and contractor requirements. Proposals are due by noon (EST) October 2, 2007. "
The IRA (above) also have a number of private donors who want to fund specific literacy research. "Through a series of dedicated research awards, grants, and fellowships, the International Reading Association supports research activity and publication in the fields of reading and reading education." This is the link: http://www.reading.org/association/awards/research.html
Where Can You Get Advanced Degrees Related to Literacy? Extensive lists of universities where Online Reading and Literacy Degree Programs are available. Typically, schools recruit teachers with bachelor's degrees in the field, although a master's in literacy and reading (or some other education-related discipline) is often preferable. Regardless of your degree, holding a teacher's license or certification is mandatory for most public schools across the nation. Institutions offering certifications or professional degree programs in these areas are listed: Different teaching methods Classroom management Curriculum development Educational technology Listings of colleges and Universities are here.
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