The following are excerpts from a recent article in the Montrose Daily Press (CO) highlighting a Reading First Grant that two local elementary schools are receiving:
"As a child, Brooke Hanks loved the book Where the Red Fern Grows. Jill Youngren, on the other hand, enjoyed reading a variety of short stories and periodicals. What both women have in common is a love for literacy, a passion that has blossomed into a career - one that allows them to share that love of learning with young people.
"Reading has opened doors to opportunity for me, as well as the pure enjoyment you get out of reading, Hanks said. And as I got into my profession, I began reading a lot of professional material.
"For Youngren, reading's power comes from the impact it has on people's daily lives. It gives confidence, she said. People feel that they can go out and be whatever they want to be. We are always learning-it's really about the opportunities it gives us outside of reading.
"Today Hanks and Youngren are both literacy coaches, and have been instrumental in obtaining grant funding to enhance reading education in two local schools.
"It took approximately a month of research, assistance from leadership teams at Johnson and Olathe Elementary schools, and plenty of writing and sheer hard work on the part of both Youngren and Hanks. But that effort has paid off, in the form of Reading First grants for both Olathe and Johnson
"Johnson and Olathe Elementary schools will each receive $250,000 per year, for the next three years, Montrose County School District Re-1J Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction B.J. Brown said. The money is provided by the state, through the Federally-initiated No Child Left Behind program."
"This came about because of No Child Left Behind, she said."
"Both elementary schools will receive materials and resources, as well as extra professional development time to allow teachers to build more effective skills for teaching literacy, Hanks said."
"Teachers will spend a portion of each Wednesday furthering their reading education skills, thanks to time allotted by the school district this year through its professional learning communities (PLCs), she added."
"The additional funding will also provide further learning opportunities for students, in the form of before and after school programs for extra time and support, and additional library and classroom materials, Hanks said.
"That is very important, because we have such a high number of English language learners, Youngren said. This will help us support them, by providing transportation and added learning opportunities."
"School officials are very pleased to receive the additional funding.
"This is going to give our teachers a lot of additional training in reading instruction, which they are really excited about, Johnson Elementary Principal Ann Braaten said. If a child has a specific area where they are weak in reading, this will help us figure what we need to do to remediate that area."
"This is great, Braaten said. We are really excited."
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