You already probably know that at Stand for Children Colorado we are big supporters of the READ Act (the Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act). The READ Act focuses on Kindergarten through third grade literacy development by assessing students on their literacy skills and developing individual plans to support students who are behind. One part of the READ Act that you may not be as familiar with is the Early Literacy Grant program.
The Colorado Department of Education runs the Early Literacy Grant (ELG) Program which provides funds to districts and schools across Colorado. The ELG program provides $4 million each year is to help schools better meet the literacy needs of their students by supporting best first-instruction, aligned assessments and interventions, and training teachers. Schools receiving funding under an ELG must improve outcomes for their students by either: showing that they are reducing the number of students with a “significant reading deficiency,” or cutting in half the number of students reading below grade level. The ELG program is having a positive impact on literacy skills for Colorado students! After two years of the ELG program, nearly 70% (67%) of the schools met at least one of the ELG goals. This is exciting news and we hope to see the program continue with such momentum!
Today, the State Board of Education approved applications from 6 more schools to receive early literacy grants. We look forward to tracking the work of these schools as they take on the work of improving their literacy rates for their earliest readers.