The No Child Left Behind Reading First program provides grants to states to help schools and local school districts improve children's reading achievement through scientifically proven methods of instruction. Last September, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the state of Nebraska $6.2 million in Reading First funds. Over six years, Nebraska is set to receive a total of approximately $23.8 million in Reading First funds. The following is an excerpt from yesterday's McCook Daily Gazette highlighting how Reading First will benefit the children in McCook Public Schools:
"McCook Public Schools board of education accepted a $420,000+ reading grant during its regular meeting Monday. McCook's 'Reading First' grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, will fund $220,000 in its first year and $200,000 in its second year. The grant amount for the third year will be determined at the end of the second year, according to elementary principal Kathy Latta.
"The purpose of the Reading First grant is for all Nebraska students to score at the proficient level on state reading standards by the end of third grade. Latta said the grant will benefit all young readers, yet its main focus is to 'catch up' students who are, or are at risk of, falling through the cracks. The first-year grant will pay for a new K-3 reading series, hiring a reading coach, summer training for teachers and attendance by Latta and the reading coach at a national training conference.
"Board member Jack Clark was impressed with the grant. 'I've been on my soapbox about reading for years,' he said. 'Kids who can read can do anything and go anywhere.'"
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