Schools apply for $740,000-plus in literacy grants
By Kathryn Schiliro
Morgan County Middle and High School representatives have filed for more than $740,000 in grant funds as part of the state Department of Education's (DOE) Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy planning grants.
The schools applied separately for the grants, the middle school requesting near $497,000 and the high school requesting $245,000. It’s possible that one school could receive funding and the other could not.
The application, turned in to the state on Dec. 14, required school representatives to “describe the need for literacy programs through technology,” Assistant Superintendent Debra White said. There were district-level questions as well, the answers to which White put together.
The funds will be used to increase technology accessibility; provide professional learning in Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (new curriculum bought into by most states and put into place in Georgia this year) implementation and “Best Practices in Literacy Instruction;” provide opportunities for increasing teacher collaboration; strengthen enrichment options for literacy instruction; develop an infrastructure for feedback and assessment protocols; and systematically utilize a universal screening assessment to identify specific needs of students in areas the schools are seeking to improve, according to White.
The primary and elementary schools received Striving Reader grants from the state in March 2011. These grants emphasized literacy from birth to grade 5 as well as helped to align literacy between the primary and elementary schools.
"It broke down a wall," White said.
The middle and high school grants, if attained, will expand that age span to birth to grade 12 and will align from the middle school to the high school.
The middle and high schools are applying for the grants separately, so there is a chance one school could get the grant and one won't. Results should be in by February 2013.
Printed in the January 3, 2013 edition