Heckscher Foundation for Children Announces Request for Proposals from New York Charter Schools to Use EarlyBird to Detect Dyslexia Early
NEW YORK (September 6, 2023) – The beginning of a new school year finds New York schools continuing to experience the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the midst of an early education literacy crisis. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), New York ranked 37th in the state in fourth grade reading scores in 2021-2022. To date, too few schools have taken advantage of the tools to detect dyslexia and other reading differences in the early grades – a point at which these learning differences can still be prevented.
Today, the Heckscher Foundation for Children announced that up to $500,000 is available state-wide to provide New York charter schools a critical resource to address early reading difficulties and to support the state’s youngest students in overcoming these hurdles. The opportunity is for schools serving pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and/or first grade access to EarlyBird, which is a digital, self-administered, interactive game that detects dyslexia and other reading difficulties. This funding opportunity allows eligible schools complete access to EarlyBird’s literacy assessment at no cost to the school.
Already being used with proven results in 20 states across the country, EarlyBird has the potential to directly counteract reading impairments, fostering academic and social-emotional success in children. The support from the Heckscher Foundation allows schools access to EarlyBird web or app-based gamified assessment, ongoing training and support, and a resource bank of concrete next steps for instructors to support students based on the data from the assessments.
“Dyslexia is an equity issue because it disproportionately impacts poor children who are diagnosed too late or not diagnosed at all. We hope that New York’s charter schools take advantage of this opportunity to better serve the needs of their students,” said Peter Sloane, CEO & Chairman of the Heckscher Foundation for Children.
About the Opportunity
Charter schools in New York are invited to submit proposals for an 18-month grant period (school years 23-24 and 24-25) or a 10-month grant period (school year 24-25). The Heckscher Foundation for Children will support schools that serve students in grades pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and/or first grade and who demonstrate a commitment to using the assessment platform with fidelity. Support will be given for schools who will utilize EarlyBird in conjunction with a literacy program that teaches explicit reading instruction and aligns with the Science of Reading.
Read more about and apply at www.EarlyBirdHeckscherRFP.com.
About the Heckscher Foundation for Children
The Heckscher Foundation for Children uses venture philanthropy to fund innovative, results-driven programs and partnerships that level the playing field for underserved youth. Its grants focus primarily on education, including college access and persistence, workforce training and jobs access, and arts education that improves achievement in the classroom. Learn more at heckscherfoundation.org.