No Child Left Behind's Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (LSL) grant program plays a key role in helping students find reading success. Too many underprivileged children read at levels significantly below grade level. By providing funds to schools to improve the quality of their library media centers, LSL grants allow schools to address the literacy and reading challenges their students face. The following is an excerpt from an article in The Helena Daily World (Arkansas) covering the U.S. Department of Education's awarding of LSL grants to three Arkansas school districts:
"The U.S. Department of Education's Gaye Lang and Arkansas' First Lady Janet Huckabee presented a 'No Child Left Behind' library grant totaling $365,351 to the Helena-West Helena School District this morning at Central High School. Arkansas public school students from three school districts will benefit from nearly $900,000 in 'No Child Left Behind' grants for projects to improve students' reading skills, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced in a press release.
"On behalf of Paige, regional representative Lang joined the first lady and local school officials for check presentations at Central High School in West Helena and Park Avenue Elementary School in Stuttgart. Mrs. Huckabee presented the check to Ivory Primary School in Camden.
"The three school districts receiving grants are Camden Fairview Public Schools, $366,882; Helena-West Helena School District, $365,351; and Stuttgart School District, $148,246. 'President Bush and I believe that all children can learn and deserve the opportunity to learn,' Paige said. 'That's why the President pushed for the No Child Left Behind education reforms.'
"'I was really excited to receive the news that we had received this grant,' said Easter. 'This will allow our librarian Jerry Crabb to replenish materials damaged or lost due to water damage.
"'We know that reading is paramount to academic success - and the President had made reading the centerpiece of No Child Left Behind through programs like Reading First,' continued Easter. 'These grants build upon the President's strong commitment to students learning - and we mean every child - by funding innovative projects aimed at improving academic achievement, particularly for students from low-income families.'"
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