School system hopes to snare $2M literacy grant

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By Patrick Yost

Staff Writer

The Morgan County Charter School System and a comprehensive group of community and business leaders are working in hopes of qualifying Morgan County for a Literacy for Learning, Living and Leading in Georgia Grant (L4GA) that could bring between $2 million to $4 million for literary efforts to Morgan County.

According to Susan Tolbert, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, Morgan County Charter School System, “a collaborative committee of over 20 people representing various groups that serve Morgan County Children began work on the grant proposal in September, 2020.”

The grant, administered through the Georgia Department of Education, in June released $22 million to 23 school districts in the state. 

“The purpose of the L$GA Grant is to create a comprehensive literacy program that advances literacy skills (Pre-literacy, reading and writing) from birth through twelfth grade and focuses on whole-child development,” Tolbert said in an email. “We must address language nutrition, access to supports and services, positive learning climate and teacher preparation and effectiveness, which are the four pillars of the “Get Georgia Reading” campaign.”

The school systems will submit its final proposal for funding on March 1, 2021 and hopes to learn by May if they are to receive any funds thorough the grant.

Tolbert said a large part of preparing the grant application has been coming to the understanding that  “… combined efforts focused on literacy allow for a variety of perspectives and strengthen our community as a whole.”

“We believe children who can read and write proficiently have a better foundation for success in any career or college pathway they choose and a more literate community attracts better industries and businesses.”

However, she said, if the application is not approved, the effort has already reaped benefits.

“Even if we are3 not funded, the needs assessment and collaboration have given us a better snapshot of what our community’s literacy needs are. We plan to continue the collaboration to ensure a focus on literacy and continuity of evidence-based instruction that benefits all.”

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