First Literacy Lab

First Literacy Lab  grants provide funding for the development, trial, and implementation of innovative Adult Basic Education (ABE) resources and practices. Annual grants of up to $5,000 are open to all nonprofit ABE and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) programs in Massachusetts.

Grant projects focus on fresh approaches to instruction that improve the student experience, strengthen programs, and enrich the ABE field. There are many allowable uses for grants, including curriculum development, innovative classes, digital literacy, or program-wide special projects.

First Literacy Lab grants are unique in the field, providing

  • Flexible funding 
  • On-site technical assistance and support
  • Broad-based sharing of new curriculum resources
  • Direct adult learner impact

Supporting teachers, powering innovation

First Literacy Lab FY2020 RFP and Grant Application

The First Literacy Lab FY2020 awards were announced on June 17, 2019. The FY2021 RFP and grant application will be available and posted here in the early Spring 2020. In the meantime, you can view this year’s RFP and application at the links below.

First Literacy Lab FY2020 RFP (.pdf)
First Literacy Lab FY2020 Grant Application (.pdf)

First Literacy Lab Project Presentations

Each Fall, First Literacy hosts a half-day mini-conference where recipients present the results of their First Literacy Lab grants. This event is free and open to anyone interested in adult basic education. Each session is brief, and networking time is built into the event. Join our mailing list to make sure you receive an invitation to next Fall’s Literacy Lab Project Presentations.

Learn About Our
Literacy Lab Grant Recipients.

The First Literacy Lab grants support many hands-on and interactive curriculum ideas. These innovative, teacher-led projects incorporate everything from poetry and theater, to civics and science.

Click here to view the full list of recipients and their project descriptions.

Ask a Question.

If you need more information about First Literacy Lab grants or have questions about an idea for a grant proposal, please contact Executive Director, Terry Witherell, at or call 617-482-3336.