Friday, September 9, 2011

DOE Awards Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program Grants

This week, the Department of Education (DOE) awarded $180 million to six states for the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program. Aiming to improve literacy outcomes for children from birth through grade 12, the Striving Readers program is the first-ever DOE initiative to encompass such a broad age range. The winning states are:
  • Georgia: $25,650,000
  • Louisiana: $28,500,000
  • Montana: $7,600,000
  • Nevada: $14,250,000
  • Pennsylvania: $38,000,000
  • Texas: $66,500,000
The winning states will hold individual competitions to sub-grant the DOE award to local school districts and early education providers, including nonprofit organizations, that have demonstrated success in improving early literacy development. The sub-grantees will be responsible for implementing comprehensive literacy plans, which includes: developing clear standards and assessments, providing teacher preparation and professional development, targeting interventions for students reading below grade level and developing a system of data collection, evaluation and program accountability. Local districts and early education providers that serve disadvantaged children will receive priority in the sub-grantee competition.

The Striving Readers program is the second initiative in the DOE’s effort to improve student literacy nationwide. In 2010, 48 states received formula funding to develop their own comprehensive literacy plans. This fall, DOE intends to award technical assistance contracts to both the Striving Readers states, as well as the 48 formula grantee states, in effort to foster the growth of literacy programs and promote state collaboration and resource sharing. In addition, the Obama Administration’s 2012 budget supports the new “Effective Teaching and Learning: Literacy” program, an effort that promotes the implementation of comprehensive literacy standards within state education strategies.

Stay tuned for future updates about DOE’s literacy improvement efforts.

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