The Early Reading First Program supports local efforts to enhance the oral language, cognitive, and early reading skills of preschool-age children, especially those from low-income families, through strategies, materials (including software), and professional development that are grounded in scientifically based reading research. ED is particularly interested in applications from preschools that operate full-time, full-year early childhood educational programs, and projects in which at least 75 percent of the children enrolled qualify to receive free or reduced-priced lunches. A competitive priority is given to first-time applicants under this program. Awards will range from $750,000 to $4.5 million in size, with an average size of $2.8 million. The Feb. 7 deadline is for pre-applications only, which are required; applicants who are invited to submit full applications based on the promise of their pre-applications will have until May 2 to do so.

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