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Sparking Early Literacy Growth

Seize the opportunity to improve West Virginia’s literacy scores by the end of the third grade in your community.

To read, write and communicate effectively, learners need foundational literacy skills; yet,


of West Virginia learners do not read at a proficient level by the third grade.

YOU can make a difference. Submit innovative projects today.


Information for 2023-2024 grant submissions is forthcoming.
Date Agenda
February 24, 2022 Request for Proposals (RFP) released
March 8, 2022 10 - 11:15 a.m. Virtual grant informational session #1. Email canyon.lohnas@mail.wvu to schedule an appointment.
March 30, 2022 4 - 5:15 p.m. Virtual grant informational session #2. Email canyon.lohnas@mail.wvu to schedule an appointment.
March 31 Virtual technical assistance via 1-1 consulting. Email canyon.lohnas@mail.wvu to schedule an appointment.
June 15, 2022 Electronic proposals due by 11:59 p.m. Submit here.
September, 2022 Formal notification of awards
September 2022 - September 2023 Funding period

who should apply?

  • Educators
  • Innovators
  • Local leaders
  • Public and private schools
  • Early care and early childhood centers
  • After-school and summer learning programs
  • Nonprofits
  • Colleges and universities
  • Communities
  • Local organizations

why apply?

Reading proficiency by the third grade is a key milestone in every child’s learning journey. But there's a growing disparity among our early learners. Your proposed projects can help break through these silos and reach as many of West Virginia’s most marginalized students as possible.

  • Disadvantaged children often do not have exposure to the reading and vocabulary that develops early language and cognitive skills, 61% possessing no children’s books at home.
  • By age two, these children are already behind their peers in listening and counting.
  • By age four, they may hear as many as 30 million fewer words before reaching kindergarten.
  • By age five, they may only recognize 9 letters compared to 22 among children raised in more affluent households.

*Source: National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading


All grant proposals must be submitted through the Qualtrics application portal. An outline of the form is contained in the Request for Proposals document. Please prepare your materials before filling out the form.

Each proposal must consist of a three-part electronic submission: a Cover Sheet, Narrative and Budget.

The partnership acknowledgement form should be submitted as a PDF with the application. It can be downloaded here.

Technical Assistance Opportunities for 1-1 Consulting

By virtual appointment

WVPEC will provide support to schools, organizations and groups seeking funding. Upon request, technical assistants are available to consult with prospective grant seekers to provide feedback, particularly grounded in a proposal's early literacy components. These conversations should occur during the initial project planning phase of the proposal development. Participation in technical assistance via one-on-one consulting does not guarantee funding or provide any explicit or implied advantage during the proposal review phase.

Email canyon.lohnas@mail.wvu to schedule an appointment.


Need inspiration? Read more about funded projects from 2021.

Benedum Funded Projects

Steeley Funded Projects

Sparking Early Literacy Growth in West Virginia grants will be funded, in part, by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Technical assistance and expertise will be provided by WVPEC, Marshall University, West Virginia University and West Virginia Department of Education literacy specialists.

Opportunities for both corporate and nonprofit support and engagement are available. To learn more, please email