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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 99-121


Availability of Even Start Family Literacy Program

[29 Pa.B. 462]

I.  Authorization

   The Even Start Family Literacy Program is authorized by Title I, Part B of the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (Pub. L. No. 103-382) to provide funds through the Department of Education (Department) for the establishment of local Even Start projects.

II.  Intent

   The Department intends to allocate and administer Title I Even Start Family Literacy funds to eligible local educational agencies (LEA) and community-based organizations (CBO) within this Commonwealth. Eligibility includes entities applying for the first year of a 4-year grant period and current Even Start recipients applying for a grant renewal.

III.  Goals

   The goals of the Even Start Family Literacy Program are:

   --To help parents become full partners in the education of their children.

   --To assist children in reaching their full potential as learners.

   --To provide literacy training for their parents.

IV.  Purpose

   --Break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy through means of an intergenerational effort.

   --Improve the educational opportunities for children and adults by integrating early childhood and adult education for parents into a unified family program.

   --Implement collaborative relationships that build on existing community resources to create a new range of services.

   --Promote achievement of National Education Goals.

   --Assist children and adults from low-income families to meet challenging education performance standards.

V.  Priorities

   Priority will be given to applications under the following conditions:

   --Reflect the family focus of Even Start.

   --Target services to families most in need.

   --Locate sites in areas designated by the Federal government as empowerment zones or enterprise communities.

VI.  Eligibility

   A.  Applicant. The term ''eligible entity'' refers to a partnership between one or more LEAs and one or more CBOs, public agencies other than an LEA, institutions of higher education or other nonprofit organizations of demonstrated quality other than an LEA.

   B.  Eligible children and parent participants. Even Start can serve children from birth to age 7 and their parents.

   (1)  The parent or parents must meet one of the following criteria:

   --Be eligible for participation in an adult education program under Section 231 of the Federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (16 years of age or older) or the Pennsylvania Adult Literacy Act 143 (17 years of age or older).

   --Be within the Commonwealth's compulsory school attendance age (17 years old) and enrolled in a secondary school.

   (2)  Most eligible children and their parents should reside within the Title I school attendance area, although there is no requirement to only serve those local residents.

   (3)  Other family members, such as, grandparents, stepparent, and the like, may participate in Even Start activities and services when such participation would serve Even Start purposes.

VII.  Duration of Projects

   The ''grant period'' (or duration of an Even Start grant) will be for a term of 4 years provided that sufficient progress is made towards meeting program objectives. The Commonwealth will not, however, issue a 4-year contract. Each year, or ''grant year,'' grantees will be required to apply for continuation funding. At the end of the grant period, grantees will be authorized to reapply and compete with other applicants for another 4-year grant.

   The maximum period a project may receive Even Start funds is 8 years.

   A startup period of 3 to 6 months may be granted to new projects in their first year of program operation. This time may be used for staff recruitment and training, coordination of services and program planning.

VIII.  Funding

   The estimated FY 1999/2000 appropriation for Pennsylvania is $4.9 million, of which 95% is available for distribution to new and continuation projects. The minimum award will be $75,000. Successful applicants will be notified of funding at the earliest possible time to allow the project to begin July 1, 1999. All project funding is dependent upon receipt of Even Start funds from the United States Department of Education.

IX.  Teleconference Workshop

   All potential applicants are urged to attend the combined proposal development workshop for Federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Section 231, State Adult Literacy Program, Act 143 of 1986 and the Federal Even Start Family Literacy Program. This workshop will be conducted by teleconference on Friday, January 29, 1999, from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. For the nearest downlink site and to ensure that space, materials and handouts are available, all attendees must register for a downlink site by contacting the Distance Learning Center at (800) 236-5293. For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, the Pennsylvania Relay Service (800) 654-5984 (TTY) can be used to call the Distance Learning Center. To ensure timely administration and processing of applications, both the grant writer and the fiscal officer should attend the workshop.

X.  Application Procedures and Program Guidelines

   A funding application package (forms and guidelines) will be mailed to current Even Start and adult basic education providers in mid-January. Others desiring additional information or Application Procedures and Guidelines may obtain them after January 25, 1999, by written request to: PA Department of Education, Bureau of Adult Basic and Literacy Education, Special Programs and Projects Division, 333 Market Street, 12th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333.

XI.  Submission of Applications

   Applications must be received by April 9, 1999. Note: The Bureau reserves the right to consider proposals received after the deadline and, if appropriate, to approve them if and when funds become available.

XII.  State Contact

   Donald F. Paquette, Family Literacy Advisor, (717) 787-5532, fax: (717) 783-0583, E-Mail: DPAQU60638@AOL.COM


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-121. Filed for public inspection January 22, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]

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