Adult Literacy Grant Programs Overview Illinois State Library
Literacy grants enable educational agencies to provide reading, writing, math, and/or English language instruction to adults who lack basic academic skills enabling them to fully engage in family, work and community roles. The Illinois State Library's Adult Literacy grant programs are divided into the following three categories of service to address the different needs of the low-literate population:
- Adult Volunteer Literacy
Adult Volunteer Literacy programs utilizes volunteer tutors to provide one-on-one instruction for adults who want to improve their reading, math, writing and language skills.
- Penny Severns Family Literacy
Family Literacy programs equip parents and their children, together and separately, to improve their basic reading, math, writing or language skills.
- Workplace Skills Enhancement
The educational needs of working adults are met through Workplace Skills Enhancement programs, which provide on-site basic skills learning opportunities at their workplace.
- The project year is the state fiscal year (FY), which begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.
- Award notification will be released when legislative and gubernatorial approval of the appropriation is made.
- Pre-contract negotiations between the State Library and the grant applicant will clarify any issues raised during the review process. The State Library reserves the right to change the grant amount as appropriate.
- Obligations to fund this grant program will cease immediately without penalty or further payment being required if the Illinois General Assembly or the federal funding source fails to appropriate or otherwise make available sufficient funds.
Application Review Procedure
- Members of the Literacy Advisory Board are required by statute to review all the applications and recommend those considered worthy of funding to the Secretary of State for his approval.
- Additional qualified reviewers may assist the Literacy Advisory Board in the review of grant applications. Reviewers are selected based on several criteria, but primarily on the volunteer's background and knowledge of adult literacy. For more information on how to volunteer as a reviewer, please visit the Volunteer Adult Literacy Grant Reviewer website.
- The selection criteria used by the LAB is specified in 23 Ill. Adm. Code 3035.230.
- A scoring rubric, developed to follow the selection criteria, is used to evaluate the applications.
Program Impact in FY 2020
- Over $5.6 million awarded to the Adult Literacy Grant Program.
- 113 local literacy projects funded statewide.
- 14,352 adult learners will be served in 78 Illinois counties; total includes over 900 families and more than 1,000 children who will participate in the Penny Severns Family Literacy Grant program.
- Secretary of State Press Release Announcing FY 2020 Adult Literacy Grant Awards.