Leveled Literacy Intervention

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
  • This strategy can help address educational disparities. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • Supplementary, small-group activity designed to help struggling readers reach grade-level competency
  • Focuses on phonological awareness, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and other literacy skills
  • Provides texts with progressive difficulty and systematic lesson plans matched to students’ abilities
Issue Areas
K-12 education
Target Population
Elementary and middle school-aged children
Cost per Participant
Approximately $3,000 per classroom set of materials

Evidence and impacts


Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by the U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse

  • Positive effects on general reading achievement
  • Potentially positive effects on reading fluency
  • Improved general reading achievement by an average of 11 percentile
  • Improved reading fluency by an average of 11 percentile points

Best practices in implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Start the leveled literacy intervention as early as possible during the school year to provide the full 14 weeks of education.
  • Frequent trainings and integration of trainers with school administration help maintain program fidelity.
  • Program should be administered 30-45 minutes per day, 5 days per week, with the recommended group size.
  • Without appropriate staffing and small group approach, participants will not reap the full benefits of the program.