The Ohio Department of Education was recently awarded $42 million for a Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Education to build on ongoing work to improve the language and literacy development of our state’s children. Approximately 95 percent of the award has just been distributed, directly, to local districts, community schools and early childhood education programs to improve literacy outcomes for children from birth through grade 12.
This four-year sub-grant will focus on developing model comprehensive literacy sites in early childhood education programs and district preschools as well as elementary, middle and high schools across the state. The model sites will concentrate on implementing practices consistent with Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement. The grant also will support professional learning and coaching. The partnership between the model sites and the Department will allow early childhood education programs, districts, schools and families to improve student literacy and increase educational options available to students who have been traditionally underserved.
Gallia County Local Schools is extremely excited to announce that it has been awarded two of these grants--one for birth to kindergarten entry and one for grades K through five. The total grant funds awarded is $1.4 million. This is a big deal because the work of these grants will focus on five action strands from Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement that include: shared leadership, a multi-tiered system of support, educator capacity, family partnerships, and community collaboration. This means that students, teachers, and families in the school system will benefit from a wealth of services which include a district focus on literacy; two full-time literacy coaches, literacy professional development, family engagement opportunities, and new and refined literacy resources and assessments. The district will transition from a Balanced Literacy approach to utilizing the Science of Reading as its framework. This will bring the district in line with the new state literacy plan and each of our four elementary schools will operate and be identified as model literacy sites for the region and state. Becoming a model site for the state is a great opportunity for the Gallia County Local Schools, as this will enhance local efforts and contribute toward increasing literacy achievement for all students.