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February 18, 2004, Extra Credit
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February 18, 2004
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No Child Left Behind Reading First Program Has Local School Official "Excited And Thrilled"

The state of New York recently announced subgrants for the No Child Left Behind Reading First program, providing more than $71 million in federally funded grants to 48 school districts and charter schools across the state. Following are excerpts from coverage of the announcement:

In Poughkeepsie: "Three Poughkeepsie elementary schools will be able to improve their reading programs with the help of a new state grant. The Poughkeepsie school district will receive $788,450, one of 48 districts statewide to share funding as part of the state Reading First Initiative. The federally-funded program is targeted at reading programs in the first through third grades. 'We're really excited about the prospect of doing this,' said Karen Markeloff, the district's assistant superintendent for instruction."

"Approximately 20 teachers at each school will be trained using an online course from the New York State Reading Academy. Eighty hours of instruction will be given on different ways of teaching reading, Markeloff said. With the training, teachers will also do more assessments and tracking of students' progress in areas such as phonics, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary."

In Oswego: "Oswego elementary students will benefit from a substantial 'Reading First' grant that has been awarded to the Oswego City School District. 'Reading First' grants have been awarded to 48 school districts statewide and Oswego has been earmarked to receive $1.1 million. The grant will be used to provide training for teachers, support for low-performing students, help communities with family literacy programs and to assist students for whom English is a second language. … [Director of Literacy Irene Dewey] said, 'I am excited and thrilled this has been provided for Oswego.'"

"'The 'Reading First' program provides the opportunity for targeted schools to effect systematic change based on scientific research. As a result of implementing this grant, administrators, coaches, classroom teachers and special education teachers will be trained in best practices based on scientific research. Classroom instruction will be intensive, explicit and employ intervention strategies to enable all students to reach proficiency in reading,' Dewey said."

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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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