The Arizona Department of Education has received a $20 million grant to improve language and literacy skills of underserved children.
The Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant, which will equal $4 million a year over five years, will target kids living in poverty, English learners, children with disabilities, Native American students, and those reading well below grade level.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman’s office announced the grant, which was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, in a press release Wednesday.
“This investment comes at a critical time and will bring needed resources to Arizona’s students and schools,” Hoffman said in a statement. “It’s more important than ever that we do our best to support underserved students and those who are struggling with their literacy skills.”
The award will be divided into 15 to 25 sub-grants to be spread to learners from early care and preschool through high school.
“Children begin developing language and pre-literacy skills long before they enter kindergarten,” said Marilee Dal Pra, chief executive officer of First Things First, said in a statement.
“This grant will help us support educators in childcare and preschool settings with the research-based tools they need to ensure young children start school ready to learn to read.”
First Things First, an organization that helps young children be ready for kindergarten, collaborated with the Arizona Department of Education and early literacy initiative Read On Arizona to develop the grant program.
Click here to read the full press release.