Leveraging public funding streams for Raising a Reader Programs: Supporting Learning Recovery and Literacy 

11.21.2023 From the CEO

Raising a Reader Aligns with Several Public Funding Streams 

School districts have had and continue to have the herculean task of identifying strategies that can support recovery from the learning loss that occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This school year, school districts have a better understanding of just how much educational progress in reading has been lost since 2020 and recognize that a child’s recovery from learning loss can only happen if there is a true partnership between home and school to ensure literacy and learning continues to be supported outside the classroom walls. However, meaningful school-home connections requires time and funding. Luckily, there are several public funding streams that school districts can tap into that include parent involvement and family engagement as an allowable expense, such as pandemic relief dollars and Title 1 funds.  

ESSER Funding 

In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act., which created a specific fund, Education Stabilization Fund, to pay for relief and recovery efforts specifically for schools. Additional funds have continued to be allocated to the ESF, which the US Department of Education manages and distributes through several emergency relief programs. One of these programs is the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). Several Raising a Reader Affiliates and partners have specifically been able to use the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) to implement all three of our programs as they align with the following allowable expenses

  • Needs associated with children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English Learners, marginalized groups, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth 
  • Family engagement opportunities (to assist parents and families in effectively supporting students) 
  • Resources and academic supports for early childhood (Pre-K to 2nd) 
  • Summer enrichment programs  
  • And more! 

Title 1 Funding 

Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Each LEA and school assisted with Title  funds is required to ensure effective involvement of parents and family members to support a partnership between school and home. Raising a Reader maps to several of the requirements, including: 

  • Provide materials and training to help parents to work with their children to improve their children’s achievement, such as literacy training, to foster parent involvement 
  • Educate teachers and other staff the value and utility of contributions of parents, and in how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners, implement and coordinate parent programs, and build ties between parents and the school 
  • Provide necessary literacy training from funds received under Title I, Part A if the LEA has exhausted all other reasonably available sources of funding for such training; 
  • Adopt and implement model approaches to improving parental involvement 

Join us for our upcoming ESSER Webinar: Funding Success for Early Literacy and Family Engagement: ESSR and RAR Programs 

Date: Wednesday, November 29th  

Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm  PT | 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET 

Description: Learn how Raising a Reader programs align seamlessly with ESSER funding opportunities for schools and organizations. Discover the keys to securing the support you need to bring Raising a Reader to your school or organization.  

Register here 

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