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What is Literacy?

Literacy primarily refers to the ability to read and write. However, an expanded definition of literacy also carries additional significance. Some examples depicting the broader range of literacy include: Academic literacy, Computer literacy, Cultural literacy, Economic literacy, Functional literacy, Media literacy and Workplace literacy.

Literacy Instruction

The goal of literacy instruction in Virginia is to ensure that all children have the necessary skills to become successful readers, writers, speakers, and listeners with the critical thinking skills that are required to be successful as they progress and transition through the stages of their lives.

Virginia Literacy Act

With the passage of the Virginia Literacy Act (VLA) in the 2022 General Assembly, Virginia is taking the lead nationwide to improve early literacy outcomes for Virginia’s young learners. Through the VLA, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will support school divisions through a multi-year effort with tools, resources, technical assistance and funding.

Literacy Resources for Families and Communities

Find resources to support literacy and learning at home.

  • Family Literacy  Webinars engages families and communities in fostering a love for literacy with a variety of informative sessions hosted by VDOE specialists and coordinators as well as educators and community groups from across the Commonwealth.
  • Literacy Resources for Families and Communities contains a few of the many general online resources that are free to teachers, parents, and students.

Literacy Resources

Comprehensive Literacy Webinar Series

The Comprehensive Literacy Webinar Series focuses on best practices in literacy instruction and resources available to school divisions. Through the diverse expertise of our partners and presenters, the Virginia Department of Education's goal is to offer timely, research-based, and instructionally sound sessions to Virginia educators.

Birth Through Grade Five Literacy

Literacy begins at the very earliest stages of development. As infants and toddlers gradually become aware of language they soon begin to take steps to interact with it. These experiences form the basis of future literacy learning.

Outside Links

Literacy for Special Populations

Some aspects of literacy learning may pose particular challenges to students with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, as well as those with special needs. Information to support these students in literacy is provided below.


  • English as a Second Language Standards, Assessments & Resources-Coming Soon
  • Special Education-Coming Soon

Outside Links

Standards of Learning Documents for English

Progression Charts for Reading, Writing, Grammar & Research

The Standards of Learning Progression Charts for reading, writing, grammar, and research identify the grade level at which specific skills are formally introduced in the 2010 English Standards of Learning. The progression charts provide a visual representation of the grade level at which a student should have formal instruction on specific skills. Not all skills in the English Standards of Learning are represented in these charts nor are the skill progression charts a replacement for the English Standards of Learning or the English Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework.

Reading, Writing, Grammar and Research