ODE gets $43.2 million in literacy grants

Staff report

The Ohio Department of Education has announced its receipt of two competitive grants by the U.S. Department of Education totaling $43.2 million to improve student literacy from birth through grade 12.

The Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant provides funding to establish model literacy sites across Ohio in preschools and elementary, middle, and high schools. 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 ODE will allow early childhood programs, districts and families to improve student literacy and increase educational options available to students who have been traditionally underserved.

The literacy development grant is for $42 million over five years. Activities will begin in January 2020.

The Model Demonstration Projects for Early Identification of Students with Dyslexia Grant aims to improve the literacy of students with — or at risk for — dyslexia. Nationally, it has been estimated that approximately 10 percent of students have dyslexia, a learning disability that can cause problems with reading, writing, and spelling.

The grant will support pilot programs to address the literacy needs of students in three model schools from preschool through grade 1. These schools will offer professional learning and support for teachers, coaches, and principals, along with regional supports focused on instruction for children with dyslexia.

The grant involving the early identification of students with dyslexia is for $1.2 million over four years. Activities in the three elementary schools will start in January 2020.

“Literacy is truly the foundation of a solid education,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “By helping children learn and by meeting their unique needs, Ohio’s teachers are giving children the opportunity to ultimately pursue their dreams. These grants will help establish model programs that could be replicated across the state.”

Paolo DeMaria, state superintendent of public instruction, said, “Ohio’s success with these grant applications reflects recognition of the great work already happening in the state. Everywhere I go, there is energy focused on helping students master reading. It’s essential to each child’s success.”

Staff report