Family Literacy Engagement with Multilingual Learners

About the Project

George Mason University’s ACE-STEM Project is a National Professional Development (NPD) Grant Project funded by the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), U.S. Department of Education (Fall 2021 – Summer 2026). ACE-STEM aims to support the education of English learners by providing quality professional development (PD) for English Learner (EL) educators. In partnership with Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS), the ACE-STEM Project Team provides a rigorous, evidence-based, and innovative PD program to enhance participating teachers’ content-integrated instruction with a focus on STEM.

In addition, the ACE-STEM project includes a focus on valuing and leveraging PK-12 multilingual learners’ (MLs) home and community language(s) as assets and resources for learning in the classroom.

Call for Proposals

We are inviting proposals for projects/events at the classroom or school level that promote multilingual family engagement through valuing the use of home languages for literacy learning and development.

The purpose is to build on families’ cultural and linguistic identities and literacy practices—their funds of knowledge—as a foundation for new learning and to enable caregivers to exercise agency in their children’s education.

We are interested in prioritizing proposals that have considered these questions:

  • How can educators design and implement family literacy projects/events that empower families as leaders?
  • How can a family literacy project create a space where educators access and build on multilingual learners’ and families’ funds of knowledge as rich learning resources?
  • What do families value in their children’s literacy education?
  • What stories do families and students want to share?

Priority will be given to projects/events that can result in a blueprint for replication and that generate publicly sharable products.

We encourage you to be creative in the kinds of family literacy engagement projects that can be responsive to these questions! The projects selected for funding and dissemination can focus on several areas. Some example ideas are: projects/events that promote reading in many languages, celebrate multilingual family literacy practices, invite multilingual volunteers to read in the classroom, produce bi-multilingual storybooks, or create video recordings of dialogic book readings of families’ favorite multicultural and bilingual books.

Please know that projects/events are not limited to these ideas. We invite your creativity in proposing family literacy engagement projects/events that are responsive to the multilingual learners and families served in your context!

Eligibility Requirements


  • Work in PWCS district 
  • Work with multilingual learners 

Criteria for successful projects 

  • The project draws on applicable best practices from current research and practice guides (see below for useful resources). 
  • The objectives of the project are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). 
  • The objectives and project activities are responsive to the strengths, needs, and interests of the multilingual learners and families served by the school. The project has potential to result in a sustainable blueprint, which can be repeated or adapted for replication in another school year or in other classrooms/schools. 
  • The project generates a shareable product. 
  • Budget requests meet funder requirements. 

Download Proposal Template

  • Use this proposal template to brainstorm and plan out your event. The link to the submission form is at the bottom of this webpage, under ‘How to Apply’.

Proposed Budget 

During the 2023-2024 school year, ACE-STEM Project will fund the multilingual family literacy project events based on quality proposals. Each selected proposal will receive up to $1,500 in funding.

ACE-STEM will reimburse up to $1,000 for the cost of approved project expenditures upon receipt of an official detailed invoice with supporting documentation such as copies of purchase orders, paid receipts or invoices for materials and/or services. On the proposal submission form, you will need to provide a comprehensive list of your anticipated expenditures for designing and implementing your proposed program.  Please refer to Allowable/Allocable expenditures (up to $1,000) as you develop your budget.   

If two or more teachers collaborate to submit a proposal, receipts for allowable expenditures can be submitted for up to $1,000 per teacher on a selected proposal.  

To recognize your time and effort in planning and implementing an approved project, you will also receive an honorarium of $500 after completing the project and submitting a required project summary (template will be provided). Each teacher working jointly on an approved project will receive an honorarium of $500 after submission of the required project summary to the ACE-STEM team.  

On the proposal submission form, you will need to provide a comprehensive list of your anticipated expenditures for designing and implementing your proposed program. Please refer to Allowable and Non-Allowable expenditures (up to $1,000) as you develop your budget:

Allowable/Allocable Expenditures 

Budget requests must be allowable, allocable, necessary, and reasonable. In general, this means requested items that are directly related to multilingual family literacy, such as books for students and families, school supplies, manipulatives, displays, translation, interpretation, software, print materials. However, the grant cannot support the purchase of equipment, technology such as iPads, tablets, laptops, phones, furniture, food, promotional materials, gift cards, donations, clothing or other personal items. Please reach out with questions if you are unsure of the eligible items. 

How to Apply!

ACE-STEM project will prioritize proposal submissions received by or before Friday, December 15, 2023. However, proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis.  

Please submit your proposal HERE.  

Please reach out to us via email with questions as you develop proposals: 


Please review the following resources that May be Helpful as You Develop Proposals Anchored in Best Practices

Family Engagement on the Multilingual Learning Toolkit

The Multilingual Learning Toolkit is an online hub for research-based key principles, instructional strategies, and associated, free, practical, and easy-to-use resources that are geared towards educators who teach PreK-3rd Multilingual Learners.

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Language-Focused Family Engagement from WIDA

WIDA Focus Bulletins are resources for practitioners and educators who support, instruct, and assess multilingual learners in early care and education and K-12 settings. To see other Focus Bulletins, please visit

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WestED’s Family Engagement Toolkit

This toolkit, produced by the California Department of Education, was developed to provide districts and schools with practical planning and evaluation tools that support efforts to engage all families, particularly those of underrepresented and underserved students.

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National Center for Families Learning–Sustain and Gain

This document outlines planning and execution steps and considerations for programs to explore as they expand and reinvent their sources of funding. Planning and preparation will enhance the likelihood of identifying and attracting new sources of support.

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National Center for Families Learning—Equity in Family Engagement Toolkit

Based on a Parent University collaboration with AMPED, JCPS, and NCFL, stakeholders produced this Equity in Family Engagement Toolkit to support educators as they engage with families toward student learning and achievement.

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State Support Network—Strategies for Equitable Family Engagement

This resource provides an overview of evidence-based strategies that schools and districts may use to promote equitable family engagement practices. This resource includes summaries of the research on equitable family engagement.

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