Early Years Literacy Group Receives Federal Funding

Through a new round of funding from the US Department of Education, Future Forward will scale up literacy efforts nationally.

December 15, 2021 |

Ensuring students achieve grade-level reading standards by the time they leave the third grade is a critical determinant for a child's continued academic career. Yet many students are failing to hit these essential early benchmarks, particularly in underfunded districts and schools servings low-income and historically marginalized groups. That is why Rural Schools Collaborative is pleased to support our partner, Future Forward Literacy, and celebrate their recent grant Department of Education grant!

Future Forward will team up with RSC hub partners at Monmouth College, Morehead State University, and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. These hubs regions will join schools in South Carolina and Northern Wisconsin to expand Future Forward's programming into rural communities. Congratulations to Kate Bauer-Jones, Executive Director of Future Forward, her team, and our hub partners!

Madison, WI -12/14/21

Early literacy nonprofit Future Forward (a program of Education Analytics) successfully transitions into the next stage of nationwide expansion with its third award in 10 years from the U.S. Department of Education’s “Education Innovation and Research” (EIR) program.

Future Forward is a literacy intervention for students in kindergarten through grade-three that delivers research-based one-on-one tutoring and family engagement for children, families, schools, and districts across the nation. “We are elated to continue this proven program and to share it with so many more students,” said Future Forward Executive Director Kate Bauer-Jones. “Our entire team across the country is excited to strengthen service to thousands of children, families, and communities with this award, while continuing contributions to a growing field of research on effective literacy interventions.”

The highest scoring of three “Expansion-phase Competition Grantees,” this is the largest single award for Future Forward to date, with $14,534,774 invested to enhance service to over 6,000 children & families.

Education Analytics CEO Andrew Rice said, “We appreciate the Department of Education recognizing just how impactful their investment has been and can continue to be if we sustain and expand the Future Forward Literacy program. My colleague Kate Bauer-Jones and her teammates are successfully scaling an evidence-based, student-centered, technology-enabled early literacy and family engagement intervention that is needed now more than ever.”

In all, $182 million in new awards were granted to 30 school districts, institutions, and nonprofits as part of the EIR program. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in announcing the awards:

"Especially as students, educators, and school communities continue to heal and recover from the pandemic, we must invest in programs that are innovative and backed by evidence of what works to ensure that our education system can fully and effectively address the academic and social-emotional needs of our children. These grants will help to offer rich opportunities to accelerate students' learning and nurture their development. I look forward to seeing how Education Innovation and Research Grants help take promising practices to scale."

The EIR program helps the field design, scale, and validate programs with potential to solve education's most pressing problems. Twenty-six of the 30 grantees specifically aim to implement programming that will respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or promote equity in student access to high quality educational resources and opportunities. A list of selected grantees can be found here.

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