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Sparking Early Literacy Growth

YOU can make a difference. Apply now to pilot transformational ideas in school readiness, high quality instruction and extended learning to improve literacy scores in West Virginia.


New grant options for this year's applicants!

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Propose transformational ideas to support the early literacy growth of West Virginia children birth to age 8.

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Expansion of Promising Practice Grants

Replicate or expand one of these three promising practices that have been previously piloted through SELG. Options include the following (see more details in the RFP):

  • Form corporate partnerships to allow family literacy training in the workplace.
  • Align curricular and intervention efforts with after school providers.
  • Provide scaffolded, STEAM-integrated writing instruction to students in grades PreK-3.

Grant Submission Timeline

Date Agenda
November 17, 2023 Request for Proposals (RFP) released.
November 17, 2023 10:25 a.m. Grant informational session #1 held at the West Virginia Reading Association’s Annual Conference.
December 12, 2023 4:00 p.m. Grant informational session #2 (virtual). Register here.
January 8, 2024 - March 14, 2024 Technical Assistance via 1-1 consulting by request. Register using Intent Form or by emailing
January 22, 2024 10:00 a.m. Grant informational session #3 (virtual). Register here.
February 1, 2024 - March 15, 2024 Intent Form must be completed before you submit your official electronic proposal.
March 15, 2024 Electronic proposals due. Must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST.
New SELG Grants
SELG Expansion of Promising Practices Grants
June 2024 Formal notification of awards.
August 2024 Implementation period begins.


  • 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.


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.


Pre-proposal support to grant seekers will be offered through 3 informational sessions and 1-1 technical assistance to review grant guidelines, criteria and answer questions. Engaging in these opportunities is strongly recommended, however, participating does not guarantee funding.

Technical Assistance Opportunities for 1-1 Consulting

January 8 - March 14, by virtual appointment

Request technical assistance via the intent form or email

Scheduled Information Sessions

Nov. 17: West Virginia Reading Association 
Dec. 12 | 4 p.m.: Zoom
Jan. 22 | 10 a.m.: Zoom


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

Each proposal must consist of a four-part electronic submission: a Cover Sheet, Narrative, Budget and partnership acknowledgement form.

Need inspiration? Read more about funded projects or watch our Dec. 2023 info session.

2022 Projects 2021 Projects

Last But Not Least

Sparking Early Literacy Growth in West Virginia grants are funded primarily by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

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