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U.S. Department of Education Awards More Than $26 Million in Grants to Support Literacy in High-Needs Schools

The U.S. Department of Education is awarding more than $26 million to 29 grantees to develop and improve high-quality literacy programs in high-needs schools. The Innovative Approaches to Literacy grants will focus on the literacy needs of children in grades pre-K -12.

"Reading is the most fundamental academic skill our children need to master to become successful in school and in life, said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. "Access to books and proven literacy instruction are critical to narrowing the achievement gap in education to help children thrive."

The literacy grants support high-quality programs that are research based and focus on the following:

  • Increasing access to a wide range of literacy resources that prepare young children to read.
  • Providing high-quality childhood literacy activities with meaningful opportunities for parental engagement, including encouraging parents to read books often with their children in their early years of life and school, and teaching parents how to use literacy resources effectively.
  • Strengthening literacy development across academic content areas by providing a wealth of literacy resources spanning a range of both complexity and content to effectively support reading and writing.
  • Offering appropriate educational interventions for all readers with support from school libraries or national not-for-profit organizations.
  • Fostering collaboration and joint professional development opportunities for teachers, school leaders, and school librarians with a focus on using literacy resources effectively to support reading and writing, and academic achievement.
  • Providing resources to support literacy-rich academic and enrichment activities and services.

Many schools and districts in underserved communities have limited access to school libraries that deliver high-quality literacy programming and adequate books and resources for children from low-income families. In addition, many of these children have limited access to age- and grade-level appropriate reading material in their homes. Since 2012, the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program has made 81 grants to support efforts to improve literacy programming.

FY 2016 Innovative Approaches to Literacy Grantees

State Name FY 2016 Grant
NY Addison Central School District $425,547
NC Ashe County Schools District $422,310
MD Baltimore City Public Schools $370,287
OK Bokoshe School District $735,389
NJ Camden City Board of Education $409,344
DC Commonlit Inc.* $1,920,518
KY Corbin Independent Schools $225,000
TX Crockett Independent School District $406,219
SC Dillon School District Four $389,573
KY Grayson County Board of Education $718,161
KS Karnes City Independent School District $500,683
KY Kentucky Educational Development Corporation $3,185,585
OK Lane Elementary $380,698
OK LeFlore Public Schools $227,038
OK Maryetta School District 22 $470,096
KY Newport Independent Schools $988,726
AK Northwest Arctic Borough School District $487,191
KY Owsley County Schools $750,000
MS Perry County School District $381,259
MN Reading & Math, Inc.* $2,581,810
KY Russellville Independent School District $749,417
CA Sacramento City Unified School District $749,998
PA School District of Philadelphia $750,000
MS Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District $517,689
OK Stilwell Public Schools $463,174
TX Texans Can Academies $545,082
NM Three Rivers Education Foundation* $5,531,091
KY West Kentucky Educational Cooperative $278,726
NC Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools $709,870

* Grantee is a national nonprofit and operates in multiple states