U.S. Education Department Awards $28 Million to Boost Literacy Skills for Low-Income Students and Help Them Succeed in the 2lst Century Economy

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U.S. Education Department Awards $28 Million to Boost Literacy Skills for Low-Income Students and Help Them Succeed in the 2lst Century Economy

September 28, 2012

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the award of $28 million for 46 first-time grants that aim to improve literacy skills for students in high-need districts and schools. Funded for the first time under the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program, grants are designed to increase student achievement by promoting early literacy for young children and by motivating older children to read.

"Literacy is the key to higher learning and a window to the world," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "These grants will develop programs that help students cultivate skills that will boost achievement, carry them through adulthood and prepare them for success in our global economy."

Grantees are located in 21 states and the District of Columbia and are comprised of school districts with at least 25 percent of students from families below the poverty line, nonprofit organizations, and a consortium of these organizations and agencies. In addition to the high-quality literacy activities they will carry out, grantees also will distribute free books to children and their families, efforts which must be based on at least one study that meets the definition of scientifically valid research.

The $28 million announced today represents the first year of funding of these two-year grants. Below are examples of two of this year's IAL grants, one to a school district and one to a national nonprofit organization:

    • The School District of Polk County in Florida will use its grant to enhance its "Books Bridge" program by expanding family Internet access, extending library hours, and providing outreach to parents about ways to provide engaging and developmentally appropriate literacy activities to use with their children.

    • Reading is Fundamental (RIF) in Washington, D.C., will use its grant to improve the performance of participating prekindergarten to third grade students in 38 partnering high-need school districts, located across 17 states. RIF's program will focus on improving participating students' performance on early reading assessments, increasing oral language and pre-literacy skills of preschool children, and increasing the percentage of students meeting or exceeding grade-level standards.

Below is a complete list of the 46 IAL grants, alphabetical by state, and including the first year funding amounts:

AK Chevak Kashunamiut School District


AL Hayneville Lowndes County Public Schools


AR North Little Rock North Little Rock School District


CA Corning Corning Union Elementary School District


CA Seeley Seeley Union School District


CA Mountain View Raising A Reader National Office


DC Washington Reading Is Fundamental, Inc.


DC Washington Eagle Academy Public Charter School


DC Washington Children's Defense Fund


FL Bartow School Board of Polk County, Florida


GA Atlanta Boys & Girls Clubs of America


IL East St. Louis East Saint Louis School District 189


IN Indianapolis Charles A.Tindley Accelerated School


KY Corbin Corbin Board of Education


KY Elkton Todd County Board of Education


KS Howard West Elk School District 282


MO St. Louis Parents as Teachers National Center


MO St. Louis Board of Education of the City of St. Louis


MO Kansas City Kansas City School District


MS McComb McComb School District


MS Starkville Starkville School District


MS Vicksburg Vicksburg-Warren School District


NC Washington Beaufort County Schools


NJ Bridgeton Bridgeton City School District


NJ Camden Camden City Board of Education


NY Addison Addison Central School District


NY McGraw McGraw Central School District


NY New York The Books for Kids Foundation


OH Cleveland Cleveland Municipal School District


OK Stilwell Maryetta School


OK Coalgate Cottonwood Public School


OK Lane Lane Elementary


OR Newport Lincoln County School District


TX Karnes City Karnes City Independent School District


TX Navasota ISD Navasota ISD


TX Corpus Christi Education Service Center, Region 2


TX Crockett Crockett Independent School District


TX Houston Houston Independent School District


TX Chilton Chilton Independent School District


TX Beaumont Region 5 Education Service Center


TX Nixon Nixon-Smiley Consolidated Independent School District


TX Austin The East Austin College Prep Academy


TX Refugio Refugio Independent School District


WA Kennewick The Children's Reading Foundation


WI Athens Athens School District


WI Milwaukee Milwaukee Public Schools