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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 00-65


Availability of Federal Grant Funds for Even Start Family Literacy Program for Program Year 2000-01

[30 Pa.B. 236]

   The Federal Even Start Family Literacy Program is authorized by Title I, Part B of the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-382). This program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for family literacy programs that will:

   1.  Target families living in areas of high concentration of poverty who are receiving welfare benefits and who have educational needs;

   2.  Enable communities to foster cooperative partnerships that build on existing community resources to create a new range of services; and

   3.  Provide services that are of sufficient intensity in terms of hours, and of sufficient duration, to make sustainable changes in a family, and that integrate all of the following:

   a.  Interactive literacy activities between parents and their children.

   b.  Training for parents regarding how to be the primary teacher for their children and full partners in the education of their children.

   c.  Parent literacy training that leads to economic self-sufficiency.

   d.  An age-appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life experiences.

   Organizations eligible to apply for an Even Start grant are a Local Educational Agency (LEA) or Community-based Organization (CBO). Eligible entities are required to establish a formal partnership between one or more LEA's and one or more CBO's. Priority consideration will be given to applications that reflect the family focus of Even Start; locate sites in areas designated by the federal government as empowerment zones or enterprise communities; submit a total budget which contains a local match beyond the required Even Start statutory percentages; and target services to families most in need (that is, educationally disadvantaged adults who are receiving public assistance; do not have high school diplomas; are members of minority groups; are single parents; have children with developmental delays; reside in a Title I school attendance area; and (if in primary grades) are receiving Title I services. Priority also will be given to programs that are coordinated with adult education and literacy programs; county assistance offices; social service agencies; public libraries; Team PA Career Link One-Stop Centers; Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs; elementary schools; family centers; preschool programs, such as Head Start; licensed child care centers; and other community groups or agencies that provide services and assistance to persons in need of basic literacy skills and/or support services.

   Additional consideration will be given to Even Start Family Literacy Programs in the following order of priorities:

   1.  Applications for Renewal of grants to currently-funded family literacy programs, providing sufficient progress is made toward meeting program goals and objectives.

   2.  Applications for New programs in counties not served by a family literacy program that propose comprehensive services that include the four required components: Adult Education, Early Childhood Education, Parent Time and Parent-and-Child Together Time (including Home Visits).

   3.  Applications designed to Expand current family literacy programs, such as existing Even Start or State Act 143 in unserved areas of counties.

   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. At the end of the grant period, grantees will be authorized to reapply and compete with other applicants for another 4-year term. The maximum period a project may receive Even Start funds is 8 years.

   Restrictions placed upon the State Department of Education for the administration of the Even Start grant are:

   1.  The Federal program requires a local contribution/matching funds in addition to the requested grant amount. The total cost of the program is to be supported by grant funds and a ''local share.'' The Even Start statute requires a graduated increase in the local share which ranges from 10% (in the first year) to 50% (in years 5 through 8).

   2.  Section 1204 of the Even Start statute prohibits a local program from using grant funds for indirect costs. This restriction includes the project's matching funds (local share).

   Even Start applications must be completed online and submitted by the e-grant website at to the Bureau of Adult Basic and Literacy Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education, on or before the following submission dates:

Even Start Family Literacy Renewal ApplicationsMarch 10, 2000
Even Start Family Literacy New and Expanded Applications April 6, 2000

   Instructions and the Application Guidelines are available by ABLE site at and by the e-grant website.

   Potential applicants are urged to attend the proposal development workshop to learn the latest changes to program guidelines and new requirements for submitting e-grant applications for adult education and family literacy programs funded through (1) the Federal Workforce Investment Act, Section 231, (2) State Adult Literacy Program, Act 143 of 1986, and (3) the Federal Even Start Family Literacy Program. This workshop will be conducted by teleconference on January 31, 2000 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. For the nearest downlink site and to ensure that space, materials and handouts are available, all attendees must register to attend 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. In order to ensure timely administration and processing of e-grant applications, both the grant writer and the fiscal officer should attend the workshop.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 00-65. Filed for public inspection January 7, 2000, 9:00 a.m.]

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