The application filing period for Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program (IAL) school literacy grants is now open, the Department of Education announced today in the Federal Register. The American Library Association encourages school librarians to apply for the program grants, which can range from $150,000–750,000. The deadline to apply for the grant funding is Aug. 10, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. The literacy grant program is designed to support innovative literacy programs for young children, increase student achievement by using school libraries and motivate older children to read. According to the Department of Education, the grants are to be used to “develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade within the attendance boundaries of high-need local educational agencies.” At least 50 percent of the $28.6 million is designated for school librarians. Local education agencies can use the funding to support school libraries and purchase materials.