COLUMBUS — To build on ongoing work to improve the language and literacy development of our state’s children, Ohio was awarded a $35 million Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
“Reading is the foundational skill that supports all learning,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “Ohio is committed to improving outcomes for our most vulnerable children, and this grant gives us an important boost in those efforts.”
“I’m pleased to see that Ohio will now have additional resources to help improve the literacy outcomes for disadvantaged students,” said U.S. Senator Rob Portman. “This grant will help ensure that these students are given an opportunity to learn and excel that will ultimately lead to them fulfilling their God-given potential.”
“By working to increase literacy and improve Ohio students’ reading and writing skills, we can create lifelong learners,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. “Investing in Ohio students gives them an upper hand as they prepare for the next phase of their education and beyond.”
Approximately 95 percent of the $35 million award will be distributed directly to local schools or early childhood providers to improve literacy outcomes for children from birth through grade 12. The three-year grant will focus on serving the greatest numbers of students living in poverty, students with disabilities, English learners and students identified as having a reading disability.
The grant builds on Ohio’s commitment to ensuring all students have the reading skills needed to succeed in their education and life. The Department recently worked with Ohio educators to update and refine Ohio’s English language arts learning standards. In addition, the Third Grade Reading Guarantee aims to ensure that all students are reading at grade level by the end of third grade. Through this initiative, schools diagnose reading issues, create individualized Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans, and provide intensive reading interventions. In 2017, even with the more rigorous expectations for promotion, 93.9 percent of students met the Third Grade Reading Guarantee promotion score, up from 93.4 percent last year.