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Vendors Needed: Help Improve Community Literacy

One of Buncombe County’s greatest assets is its youth. To that end, a major pillar of our Strategic Plan 2025 is creating an educated and capable community with the specific goals of:

  • Increasing third grade literacy rates, especially among underperforming students
  • Improving college and career readiness

Specifically, the County wants to collaborate with our school systems and community partners to create a three-year pilot project that will quantifiably improve literacy outcomes while reducing racial disparities.

Investing in our children sets the table not just for our youth, but the community as a whole. “When we provide supportive opportunities for youth as they progress through their education, they’re better prepared to graduate high school and ready for college, career, and community. And that’s something Buncombe County wants to be very intentional about investing in,” says Strategic Partnerships Director Rachael Nygaard. Buncombe County Schools knows that the immediate and future success of its students are directly affected by projects like this. “We are fortunate to live in a community that values collaboration and partnerships,” explains Buncombe County Schools Associate Superintendent Susanne Swanger. “This literacy pilot is an excellent example of how Buncombe County strives to find innovative ways to support our students. BCS is excited to be included as we all work together to ensure all students are readers.”

And that’s where we need your help. Are you, or do you know, an organization that can help us achieve those goals using evidence-based methods and provide data to show improvement is being made? If so, we want to hear from you. You can read some of the details below, or click here to read the entire RFP. If you have additional questions, please contact Ron Venturella at or (828) 250-4154.

The fine print

This request for proposals is aimed at improving literacy outcomes and reducing racial disparities in students. As a three (3) year pilot project, the intent is to provide funding to support the design, development, and implementation of a literacy program. By the end of the pilot period, it is expected that the project will be able to demonstrate efficacy in achieving intended results and securing additional sources of project funding.

The project should support k-12 students in achieving grade-level literacy and learning success in reading and writing.

The project should be designed and implemented based on a proven model for out-of-school time educational support services. The model should include sound instructional practices and literacy intervention tools supported by a tested curriculum. The model should have demonstrated success in achieving positive literacy outcomes for students underserved by the current education system. It should be a literacy-focused model with a whole-child focus including social/emotional wellbeing

The awardee will be expected to utilize data and evaluation practices for effective tracking, reporting, and analysis of project outcomes. Performance indicators should impact program practices and decision-making. Regular programmatic and results reporting will be required. Literacy and learning results should be evaluated using standardized assessment instruments. Data about in-school student performance including attendance, behavior, and academic benchmarks such as coursework and end-of-grade testing will also be required.

For information about other current County bid opportunities, visit