Competitive Grants Acquisition Part 3: Sample Pre-Program Outline

  • The information below is an example of what kind of information to include in a pre-program outline for a grant application.

    Name of the Program: Classroom Libraries

    In which office will the program sit? If there is more than one possibility, in which other offices could this sit? Who is ultimately responsible (for example, the Chief Academic Officer)?

    Office of Teaching and Learning

    Could also sit in Office of Literacy

    Ultimately responsible: Chief Academic Officer 

    What other offices/organizations (internal and/or external to City Schools) will need to be involved?


    Issue Identification: What issue or issues will this program address? Describe the issue, its size, and why it exists.

    Many City Schools students do not currently have adequate literacy skills. The STEP diagnostic assessment delivered last year showed that the vast majority of students are scoring below the literacy target level (61.5% below the target in Kindergarten, 82.1% in 1st grade, 73.5% in 2nd grade). In addition, our Wireless assessments show that about 60 to 70 % of City Schools students are scoring either “far below” or “below proficient” on their literacy skills.

    Program Theory: Why will the proposed program correct/address the issue?

    If classroom libraries that feature diverse and appropriate books are created, then students will be able to select books at their reading level and effectively practice their reading skills, which will improve literacy skills. Literacy has emerged at a key to success in 21st century America, and ensuring students are able to read and understand effectively is the most fundamental aspect of the district’s work with children.

    Evidence: What data/best practice research/evidence supports your program?

    This project is based on the research of T. Neville Postelethwaithe and Kenneth Ross, drawn from their report Effective Schools in Reading: Implications for Educational Planners. This report provided clear evidence in support of classroom libraries.

    Program Design: Please give a brief overview of the program that will be delivered in accordance with the program theory. What processes, activities and/or services will the program provide and who will provide them (including outside partners, if applicable)? Include staffing and major materials that will be provided and who will receive the program’s services.

    A program director must:
    • Select the schools and grades to receive classroom libraries
    • Select appropriate books for these classrooms (or consult a literacy expert for this task)
    • Provide a rich variety of leveled reading materials for students in their classrooms

    Schools/teachers must:

    • Ascertain literacy levels for all students in order to properly “match” students with appropriate books
    • Devote class time to independent reading, book talks, and other appropriate instructional activities so that the classroom libraries are utilized
    Inputs: What program resources (including staff and administrators, money, volunteers, equipment, supplies, facilities, etc.) are necessary for this program to be implemented? Indicate whether these resources are currently available, could be provided through City Schools funding, or will need to be funded through outside sources. Please provide a basic budget for this program.
    • Funding for classroom libraries (OUTSIDE SOURCES)
    • Reading diagnostic tests (CURRENTLY AVAILABLE)
    • Literacy specialists to select appropriate books for each classroom (CITY SCHOOLS COULD PROVIDE)
    • Funding for professional development (CURRENTLY AVAILABLE)

    Basic Budget:

           Books                                                   $100,000 (Outside sources)

           Selection of books                             $20,000 (City Schools could provide)

           Literacy assessments                      $20,000 (Currently available)

           Professional development               $20,000 (Currently available)

                   Total                                     $160,000 ($100,000 from outside sources)


    Outputs: What direct, measurable products will the program deliver? Outputs do not measure quality, just quantity. For example, number of hours of Professional Development, number of teachers who received training, number of books distributed, etc.

    • Number of classroom libraries created
    • Number of new books in classrooms
    • Number of students in classrooms with classroom libraries
    • Number of teachers in classrooms with classroom libraries
    • Hours of professional development

    Outcomes (short and/or long-term): What changes are expected to occur because of the program? What will this program actually accomplish? For example, increased student achievement, increased teacher retention, higher literacy rates, etc. These can include both quantitative and qualitative measures.

                    Short-term: Increased literacy levels for students in classrooms with classroom libraries
                    Long-term: Increased literacy levels for students in the grades following their exposure to classroom libraries

    How will these outcomes be measured? Is this information currently collected by City Schools or will new processes need to be created? Who is responsible for collecting this information?

    These outcomes will be measured through the literacy assessments already given in City Schools classrooms. This is currently collected by City Schools. 

    Individual classroom teachers will record assessment data.  Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises will be responsible for collecting and compiling this data.

    What is the timeframe for this program?

    Books should be in classrooms within 6 months of the grant’s acceptance.

    Sustainability: If applicable, how will the program sustain itself after the grant has been exhausted?

    N/A. The funding is for resources, not programmatic objectives.

    Part 1: Initial Questions
    Part 2: Pre-Program Outline
    Back to Competitive Grants Acquisition Home Page