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Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program

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FY 2014 Awards

Project Abstracts


West Memphis School District
PR/Award # S215G140044

The West Memphis School District’s IAL Common thREAD initiative targets four high needs schools serving 2,399 Pre-K-12 students for participation in the Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant including: Wonder Elementary, Wonder and East Junior High Schools, and The Academies of West Memphis (formerly West Memphis High School). Innovative approaches include a multi-layered school-community collaborative of child- and family- serving entities that provide staff, facilities, and resources at school/community sites to increase literacy for children Birth to Grade 12; Free book distribution and parent training are expected to increase percentage of children entering kindergarten with pre-literacy skills; Flexible library hours will increase access to high interest holdings and iPad technology purchased through Innovative Approached to Literacy funding to support current evidence-based literacy programs aligned with Arkansas’s State Literacy Plan; and, Library/Media Specialists will participate in collaborative professional development with content area teachers to integrate formational skills into literacy development across academic content areas.


Earlimart School District
PR/Award # S215G140067

Earlimart School District serves approximately 2,030 Pre-K through 8th grade students in the farming community of Earlimart, California. The district is in the southern end of Tulare County, in the agricultural region north of Bakersfield in California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley — one of the poorest areas in the country. 97% of Earlimart students are of Hispanic descent; more than two-thirds are English Language Learners. Our students, primarily Spanish-speaking and children of migrant workers, need an extremely high level of literacy intervention and supports, particularly throughout the lower grades, in order to have a chance to succeed academically. With funding through the FY 2014 Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program, in collaboration with school libraries at the elementary and middle schools, Earlimart School District proposes to implement an innovative, technology-based literacy program titled CORE: Creating Outstanding Readers in Earlimart. The CORE Program will provide tablet technology into literacy intervention and supports, providing students with innovative services at three school sites.

San Pasqual Valley Unified School District
PR/Award # S215G140041

The San Pasqual Valley Unified School District proposes to lead the San Pasqual Valley Literacy Project, in partnership with the Quechan Indian Tribe, a federally-recognized Indian Tribe, two partnering pre-schools, Fort Yuma Quechan Headstart and San Pasqual Valley Pre-School, Imperial County Free Library, Yuma County Public Library, Brawley Public Library and Imperial County Office of Education. This project aims to improve literacy in students, families, and the community. Partnerships will collaborate and support this project in delivering services to rural areas addressing literacy needs of students and families. Through our partnership and resources provided from the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program Grant we intend to establish and enhance literacy services that will be sustainable beyond the project at each school site. A triad of cohesive capacity building will be focused on our schools, our communities and our parents each being provided with the support and training necessary to increase literacy for all, student achievement and motivation for children of all ages to read. Our partnership will work towards increasing literacy through research based professional development in literacy and parent involvement, providing literacy coaching to all teachers via classroom observations, feedback, modeling, lesson design and lesson study, development of effective reading intervention programs, providing parent support and training increasing literacy in the home, enhancement of library services, literacy activities, and technology for increasing literacy for PreK-12th grade students.

District of Columbia:

The Institute for Educational Leadership, Inc.
PR/Award # S215G140135

The Literacy Innovation in Rural Education through Collaboration (LIREC) project will transform literacy learning in high needs rural schools, establishing a model for building capacity to produce sustainable gains in student learning, with a particular focus on preschool through grade 3 (PS-3). LIREC will be led by the Institute for Educational Leadership, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Rural and Community Trust. It will work with Literacy Community Action Teams from the communities served by 13 local educational authorities (LEAs) serving 335 teachers; 83 paraprofessionals and 3991 students. In each community, LIREC will ensure that students have access to books that are appropriate, engaging, and of interest at both home and school; develop teacher expertise in the research-based strategies for supporting literacy learning; create and implement a Community Literacy Plan; and create a summer learning lab that provides not only research-based instructional support for at-risk, PS-3 students and also advances teachers’ learning through peer observation, collaborative planning and reflection, and systematic evaluation by an external literacy expert. Throughout the year, LIREC will provide intensive professional development onsite and online in conjunction with local communities of practice in which teachers will have dedicated time to participate.

Save the Children
PR/Award # S215G140058

Save the Children (STC) is a leading national nonprofit organization creating lasting change for children. STC will partner with Reach Out and Read (ROR), a national nonprofit of medical providers who promote early literacy, to launch the Building Child Centered Communities in Rural America project. The Project will adopt a holistic approach to literacy in 30 rural schools where the Partners will work to surround children with three critical interconnected community supports targeting home, school, and community. The expected impact of the Project is for children who reside in the targeted rural communities to learn and develop in supportive, healthy, literacy-rich environments with active and sustained support from their parents, caregivers and community. Project Activities include: 1) building home libraries through Early Steps to School Success (Early Steps) program and ROR; 2) conducting literacy-focused parent-child events by bringing ROR physicians to Early Steps’ parent-child groups; 3) increasing school libraries’ technology resources with books, tablets, and eBooks; 4) providing training and technical assistance to build local capacity; 5) the development of a Community Literacy Asset Map; and 6) strengthening home-health linkages through physicians including the ROR model into regular pediatric checkups from ages 6 months through 5 years.


East St. Louis School District # 189
PR/Award # S215G140024

The Reading and Lifelong Learning Innovations (RALLI) program is a fundamental shift in the way literacy education will be conducted in East St. Louis, combining well-researched and state-of-the-art technology for instruction, high-impact professional development, community literacy resources for entire families, book distribution activities, and lifelong learning strategies from kindergarten to fifth grade. RALLI is meant to connect students to a brighter future for literacy and future education. The programs objectives follow:

  1. Promote daily family literacy activities by parents sharing conversations with their child, reading together every day, and writing
  2. Provide K-5 students with a rigorous Common Core State Standards-aligned curriculum for to increase academic achievement by one grade level by emphasizing the Big Five (phonics, fluency, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and comprehension) and the Daily Five Framework (reading to self, reading to others, listening to reading, vocabulary and writing).
  3. Design a modern technologically advanced media center with trained librarians, student friendly digital tools, and modern storytelling to encourage students to become lifelong readers and express themselves in new and innovative way

Waukegan Community Unit School District 60
PR/Award # S215G140082

Waukegan Community Unit School District 60, a district with low reading achievement and a high percentage of English Language Learners, proposes to implement Ladders to Literacy, an Innovative Approaches to Literacy program in Waukegan, Illinois. This program aims to improve school readiness and subsequent academic success in language arts and literacy. We will introduce new print and eBook-based curriculum that is aligned to Common Core State Standards, provide coaching and development for our teachers, and provide parents with the skills to help their children achieve and improve their own literacy and language skills.


Orleans Parish School Board
PR/Award # S215G140129

Orleans Parish School Board’s (OPSB, a high-need LEA as defined by the ED Census list) proposed project, Literacy for Life (FL), will take a multi-faceted approach to capacity building in order to significantly improve and expand literacy activities and services (Absolute Priority) to target the specific needs of our chosen student population, their parents and school staff. OPSB’s Strong Theory of Change (represented in its Logic Model) is: “Differentiated literacy interventions, supported by intensive job-embedded teacher professional development, parental involvement, rigorous texts delivered in print and via technology and connections with library resources will lead to improvements in literacy outcomes and student ELA achievement for Pre-K through Grade 10 students.” The project utilizes RtI strategies at all grade levels and focuses specifically on improving outcomes for Tier II and III students; What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) reviews cited Strong Evidence of success in using RtI for Tier II literacy intervention based on eleven studies that met WWC standards or met WWC standards with reservations according to the WWC IES Practice Guide “Assisting Students Struggling with Reading: RtI and Multi-Tier Interventions in the Primary Grades.” Six high-need schools will be project sites: collectively they serve 2,780 students, 2,780 – 5,560 parents/guardians and 299 school faculty and staff members. The project design includes the eight Best Practices cited in the 2013 Library of Congress Literacy Awards. Effective integration of technology into all aspects of literacy teaching and learning and effective parents/family engagement are key elements of the project.

Sabine Parish School Board
PR/Award # S215G140143

In a state with one of the highest child poverty rates, Louisiana’s students are among the most disadvantaged in the nation. Sabine Literacy Legacy represents Sabine Parish’s plan to effectively ensure these children receive effective literacy instruction. Built upon research-based best practices and modeled after the districts’ Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant, Sabine Literacy Legacy will meet the following objectives: 1)Increase the percentage of 4-year olds participating in the project who achieve significant gains in oral language skills, 2) increase the percentage of students in grades 3, 8 and HS who meet or exceed English language arts proficiency on state reading assessments; 3) provide high-quality literacy activities inclusive of parental involvement; 4) Strengthen literacy development across academic content area by providing a wide-range of literacy resources to effectively support reading and writing; 5) Utilize libraries to provide interventions for all readers; and 6) provide resources that support college and career ready academic content standards. Activities include distributing free books to children and their families, providing high-quality literacy activities, providing meaningful opportunities for parents to become engaged, increasing access to both print and electronic literacy resources, extended and flexible access to library resources, expand and update school library collections with high interest, grade-level text, providing appropriate interventions based on data for all readers, and high-quality professional development for teachers and school staff.


Corinth School District
PR/Award # S215G140120

The Corinth School District is known within the state of Mississippi as an innovative district. However, in order to prepare out students for the 21st century global marketplace, we must look beyond our state standards and provide exemplary learning experiences to enable them to complete on the larger play field. The school district has demonstrated this commitment by implementing the Cambridge International Assessment System in our schools. The Reading Expands a Community’s Horizons is an aggressive literacy plan that will provide proactive interventions to support student learning before the literacy gap develops. The project will serve 2,635 students at three school sites. Program activities include launching a book distribution, providing high-quality literacy programming through international standards, a personal e-tablet for every student, blending models of intensive professional development for teachers, support to parents, and transforming traditional libraries into modern media centers.

Greenwood School District
PR/Award # S215G140100

Located in the Mississippi River Delta, Greenwood is a small-town rural community of 15,536 residents and 50.5% of those residents live in poverty. In contrast, 95.68% of the 2,845 GPSD Students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. The project will serve all GPSD students, about 450 Head Start children ages 3-5, and 200parents. All six GPSD schools (Bankston, Davis, Threadgill, and W.C. Williams Elementary Schools; Greenwood Middle School; and Greenwood High) and Greenwood’s Gilliam Head Start Center are included. GPSD proposes a comprehensive and coordinated approach to infuse reading into the school experience. The project objectives are as follows:

1.1: Increase annually the percent of 4-year-old children who achieve gains in oral language skills beyond that expected according to chronological ages at pre/post testing,
1.2: Increase the percent of children, who enter Kindergarten demonstrating reading readiness,
2.1: Increase the percent of 3rd graders demonstrating reading proficiency by at least 4
percentage points annually as measured by the statewide testing program,
2.2: Increase the percent of 8th graders who score Proficient or above in language arts on the statewide testing program by at least 2 percentage points annually,
2.3: Increase the percent of high school students who score Proficient or above on the statewide English II testing program by 5% over the grant period,
3.1: Increase school library holdings of print and electronic media to at least 17.5:1, and
3.2: Ensure that, by the end of the grant, every pre-K – 12 and special education classroom has a varied classroom library appropriate to a range of reading abilities and interests, and
3.3: Increase annually the number of parents who self-report visiting the school or public library or check out resources from their school’s parent resource center.

New Mexico:

Three Rivers Educational Foundation
PR/Award # S215G140114

Three Rivers Educational Foundation proposes to implement Building Communities that Support Children’s Reading (BCSCR), which has been collaboratively designed to address the literacy, needs more than 79,000 children in 84 high-needs, high-poverty rural school districts across four states: New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and Arizona. BCSCR includes book distribution and a variety of innovative, evidence-based community, parent, and school strategies for improving the literacy outcomes. All districts have poverty rates (according to 2013 Small Area Income Estimate figures) over 25%. Project activities will be carried out by the Three Rivers Education Foundation, Inc., a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, which was founded in 2008 “to more effectively carry out the purposes of supporting public, private, charter, and Bureau of Indian Education schools in New Mexico and elsewhere.” The Three Rivers Educational Foundation has a strong track record of improving the academic outcomes of socioeconomically disadvantaged students attending high-need, high-poverty, rural school districts. Key project activities have been selected to provide sustainable solutions to gaps and weaknesses, maximizing teacher effectiveness, and promoting a community-wide focus on the importance of literacy.

New Jersey:

Camden City Schools
PR/Award # S215G140027

The Camden City School’s innovative literacy program is called HEAR2. The goal of HEAR2 is to expand and enhance the existing HEAR program to further develop and improve literacy skills for participating very young children (infants, toddlers, preschoolers) as well as for adolescent parents and other students in grades 9-12 attending Camden High School and Woodrow Wilson High School. Our proposed HEAR2 program will focus on achieving the following objectives:

  1. To increase the level of engagement between pregnant teens and their unborn child through literacy-related activities that impact positively on infant brain development.
  2. To improve language skills for participating very young children.
  3. To improve language arts proficiency for participating high school students.
  4. To improve school-readiness for participating incoming three- and four-year-olds, particularly in the areas of language, literacy, and technology.
  5. To support attachment, bonding, and communication between participating adolescent parents and their very young children.
  6. To facilitate the opportunity for young fathers on probation or incarcerated in the county jail to participate more in the language learning of their very young children.
  7. To utilize PALS curriculum, journaling, digital storytelling, and the storycore model to teach adolescents how to organize their thoughts to produce narrative.
  8. To increase knowledge of early childhood development, including language acquisition, early literacy, and school-readiness, for: (a) adolescent parents, (b) high school students working with and mentoring very young children, and (c) professional early childhood educators in HEAR2 classrooms.
  9. To increase the knowledge of teachers and parents about how to support their students in these activities.

New York:

Addison Central School District
PR/Award # S215G140095

The Addison Central School District’s Read 2 Learn (R2L) project is by proposing a high-quality plan using innovative approaches to facilitate literacy skills development and support reading comprehension. The plan incorporates a framework of program components that show evidence of strong theory in support of achieving project outcomes, supported by scientific research that shows: 1) promoting pre-literacy skills development in non-school settings positively impacts the development of emergent literacy skills; 2) reading ability is reliably linked to exposure to print; 3) the ability to comprehend text of increasing complexity is influenced by background knowledge; and 4) high-quality professional development is essential for school improvement. The R2L project will establish a continuum of literacy skills development supports that include home, school and community.

New York City Department of Education
PR/Award # S215G140077

The Libraries Build Learners (LBL) project will improve the literacy skills of students in grades K-2 by building their prior knowledge through targeted school investment in high-quality library collections, and educator training in how to select informational texts from these collections to build instructional units that impact student achievement. The LBL project will increase student physical and digital access to high-quality resources, encourage independent reading of diverse informational texts to develop prior knowledge, and increase parental involvement in their child’s literacy development. The project will target 20 schools in high poverty areas of the Bronx and Kings (Brooklyn) counties to reach approximately 6,000 students. The LBL project builds upon successful professional learning workshops and the work of multiple committed partners – the New York Public Library, Queens Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and the New York City Department of Education’s Fund for Public Schools.

Salmon River Central School District
PR/Award # S215G140027

Salmon River is a persistently low-achieving district proposing a comprehensive plan for improving student achievement through the use of high-quality digital tools and materials. The project will also improve the school readiness of young children by distributing books from birth through third grade and providing literacy programming to high-need families, 65% of which are Native American. Enska, or One in the native Mohawk language, will promote collaboration between the school and tribal leaders addressing all four competitive IAL priorities. The project will serve 1471 students and 145 teachers with a scientifically-based research model as documented by an extensive bibliography including: Merchant, G. (2008). Digital writing in the early years. In J. Coiro, M. Knobel, C. Lankshear, & D.J. Leu, (Eds.). Handbook of research on new literacies (pp.751–774). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Schenectady City Schools
PR/Award # S215G140072

The Schenectady City Schools’ program was designed by a committee of staff in consultation with faculty, librarians and community partners from the Schenectady County Public Library and the Capital District Child Care Council. The major program goals include: 1) Increasing literacy skills; 2) Increasing access to quality books supporting literacy development; and 3) Expanding home, school, and community capacity to teach literacy skills. The Program will serve a total of 3,334 school age children including and support to parents and teachers for a two year period.

North Carolina:

Alleghany County Schools
PR/Award # S215G140012

Alleghany C2C (Cradle to Career) will serve approximately 1750 students across each of the four schools (3 PK-8 and one 9-12) within our district and children ages 0-5 throughout the community. We will expand our vision of education from K-12 to Birth to Career by providing a comprehensive program of services that is aligned with the NC Statewide Literacy Plan. Our services will begin with literacy development of our youngest citizens while also improving the content literacy skills needed by our older youth for workforce success. Objectives and activities are representative of research based methods for sustainable reading growth.

Durham Public Schools
PR/Award # S215G140

Durham Public Schools (DPS) is proposing the Project WIN (What I Need) project to serve prekindergarten (PreK) through first grade students at six low performing elementary schools. All schools are Title I schools. As part of the Project WIN project, DPS is increasing access to a wide range of early literacy resources in schools and in students’ homes that prepare young children to read and provide learning opportunities for all participating students by strengthening literacy development across academic content areas and cultures to effectively support reading and writing. DPS is also providing literacy coaching and professional development from the Columbia University Teachers College Reading and Writing Project as well as literacy training for volunteers. DPS plans to incorporate the diverse cultures of our students into reading material and assignments coupled with cultural competence training to promote social/emotional skills and higher levels of academic achievement through increased cultural understanding and student confidence.

Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools
PR/Award # S215G140121

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS) project Reading Railroad (RR) will focus on the following goals: Goal 1: Increase the literacy skills of elementary students through the implementation of a comprehensive plan to promote literacy development which includes book distribution and childhood literacy activities. Goal 2: Build the efficacy and leadership capacity of the school librarian and other key staff. Goal 3: Improve the quantity and quality of print and electronic literacy resources at target schools’ media centers; and Goal 4: Increase family engagement in literacy activities, including the use of personalized learning technology tools (E-Readers). Objectives focus on: Increasing support for family engagement and promoting literacy activities in the home. Objectives are explained fully in the “Quality of Project Design.”


Gallia-Vinton Educational Service Center
PR/Award # S215G140032

The Gallia-Vinton Educational Service Center, Gallipolis City Schools, and Wellston City Schools are applying for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant to improve the student achievement in Appalachian Southeastern Ohio. Three elementary buildings, one middle school building and one high school building in Gallia County, Ohio, and one elementary, one intermediate, one middle school and one high school building in Jackson County (Wellston), Ohio, are the sites to be served with the plan. Approximately 3500 students and 175 staff members will benefit by participation in the program per year. The economically disadvantaged students (48.4%) and Students with Disabilities (20.6%) are the groups of particular focus. The districts’ Learning Express – Welcome Aboard plan is focused on improving achievement by mitigating barriers that exist in the high need schools. Program objectives include:

  1. Increasing the number of books/resources in libraries
  2. Promoting student access to literacy
  3. Providing digital resources to teaching and learning
  4. Supporting teachers and students in the learning process
  5. Equipping teachers with knowledge to elicit improvement

The two most critical activities to be implemented are improving access to print and providing extended time for students to utilize the materials. The IAL will allow the collaborating districts to greatly improve their library collections and the districts will facilitate students using the libraries for an additional 240 hours per year. The capacity


Crutcho School District
PR/Award # S215G1400037

The Crutcho School District in Crutcho, Oklahoma OK is applying for an Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant in conjunction with Rose State College, in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Crutcho is a small PreK-8th grade school located in an economically deprived community on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. 47% of children ages 5-17 live in a family that is below the poverty level. The district is identified as a high need district. During the 2013 school year, the district received a grade of F and is a priority school.Crutcho School will utilize Quantum Learning, a non-profit organization providing training in literacy building techniques throughout the nation. Rose College project personnel will come to Crutcho campus to offer workshops using STEM related activities to encourage, motivate and inform students about possible careers in STEM related career fields.

Maryetta School District
PR/Award # S215G140045

Maryetta School District is located near the end of the “Trail of Tears” in Adair County’s “Green Country,” a very rural, economically depressed area of Northeastern Oklahoma. Maryetta is planning to improve literacy achievement for 624 students (grades K-8th) through the intense Reading Every-day for Academic Development (iREAD) Project. Project objectives and activities support innovative programs that promote early literacy for young children, motivate older children to read, and increase student achievement by using school libraries, distributing free books to children and their families, and offering high-quality literacy activities and innovative technology tools.


School District of Philadelphia
PR/Award # S215G140141

The School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest public school system, has proposed a project named “Building Bridges with Books – Uniting Schools, Public Libraries and Families” in response to USDE’s Innovative Approaches to Literacy program. This program, which is supported by evidence of strong theory, is designed for early literacy improvements in high-poverty, low achieving to devise a high quality plan for innovative approaches to literacy that includes book distribution, access to digital tablets with e-books that are aligned with the District’s curriculum and childhood literacy activities. The program model is a partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia. Students will take field trips to the library, and parents will be engaged at workshops presented at the school and at local libraries. Free Library of Philadelphia staff will work in schools and on the local library levels with parents, students and teachers to help bridge the literacy gap among low-performing, historically disenfranchised students. “Building Bridges with Books’” driving goals and objectives include (1) Improving Student Learning Environments, through the purchase of digital tablets, distribution of books, designation of in-school library space for program activities, bi-weekly trips for students to the Free Library of Philadelphia; (2) Improving Curriculum and Instruction through the implementation of professional development for principals, teachers, and librarians, and through teaching students how to use library resources and conduct research and (3) Improving Family and Community Engagement through professional development for principals, teachers and librarians about the components of literacy and how to work with parents and caregivers on literacy strategies, monthly training sessions for parents, and (3) Improving Family and Community Engagement through professional development for principals, teachers and librarians about the components of literacy and how to work with parents and caregivers on literacy strategies, monthly training sessions for parents at libraries and bi-weekly reading workshop sessions with parents and caregivers at the schools.


Elgin Independent School District
PR/Award # S215G140035

Elgin Independent School District (EISD) is a high-need school district located in Central Texas. The district’s catchment area is home to 19,879 residents of which 4,150 are students attending one of five EISD campuses. According to the 2012 U.S. Census, 25.4% of all families living in the school district are living at-or-below the federal poverty level. Due to the insidious nature of poverty, many EISD students are struggling to achieve academic readiness, specifically in the area of literacy. To redress these issues, the EISD is dedicated to improving literacy through the use of evidenced-based practices that more fully utilize campus libraries. Specifically, EISD is proposing to implement a project containing multiple reading/literacy components: (1) Increasing the number of EISD parents who read to their newborn children(modeled after the Reach Out and Read program) by collaborating with local area pediatricians;(2) Increasing students’ interest and engagement in reading by providing each child with a new book each month; (3) Increasing preschool teachers’ use of evidenced-based practices, specifically dialogic reading, via school professional development opportunities; (4) Increasing campus library utilization by enhancing the collection and technology at each campus library; and (5) Increasing the integration of school library resources into the classroom by providing extensive professional development opportunities for all Reading and English-Language Arts teachers. This innovative approach to literacy is entitled Striving Toward Academic Readiness for All (STAR).

East Austin Prep Academy
PR/Award # S215G140030

East Austin College Prep Academy (EAPrep - charter school, LEA) will partner with its parent organization Southwest Key Programs – Community Development Center (El Centro del Familia), the University of Texas Elementary School (UTE), and Austin Learning Academy (ALA), to implement a comprehensive literacy program at five sites. The program is entitled – Project RISE (Reading to Improve Success in Education). In Year 1, Project RISE will serve 1,000 students in 1st-11th grades at EAPrep and in Year 2, 1,200 students in K-12th grade. Each year, the project will serve an additional: 100 children ages 4 - 5 years at the University of Texas Elementary School (UTE); 50 children through Austin Learning Academy; and 100 youth ages 4 – 20 years at SWK’s El del Familia. Over 650 parents will be engaged annually in literacy services at these sites. Collectively, Project RISE will serve a total of 1,900 (Year 1) and 2,100 (Year 2) low-income, minority, at-risk youth and adults. Project goals are to increase the literacy skills of all students, improve academic performance; and create a school wide educational culture and classroom climate that promotes and strengthens literacy across the curriculum and academic content areas.

Harlandale Independent School District
PR/Award # S215G140142

 Harlandale ISD (HISD) is the fifth largest school district among the 13 San Antonio local education agencies, and currently serves 15,305 students in grades Pre-K through 12. HISD’s student population is largely economically disadvantaged (87.7%) with 15.6% of students classified as English language learners, and 58.3% classified at-risk of dropping out, with all 22 HISD campuses designated as Title I schools, based on high poverty schools with students who are behind academically or at risk of falling behind. Harlandale ISD’s Project Literacy: Learn, Love, Live will serve the 13 high-risk, Title I elementary schools in its district. HISD’s Literacy Project proposes to improve literacy skills among elementary-age students, motivate them to develop a passion for reading and writing, and develop life-long literacy behaviors. Partners will include the Mission Public Library, the Pan Am Public Library, and the Bexar County BiblioTech, the Nation’s first all-digital public library. The Literacy Project will provide quality literacy services and activities to 5,800 students in grades 1 thru 5, by expanding existing library book resources, implementing technology and digital tools into libraries and ELA curriculum, engaging parents as active participants in children’s literacy, and providing students with books to take home during school breaks.

Houston Independent School District
PR/Award # S215G140125

Reading Elevates All Learners through Integrated Technology for Youth (Project Reality) is Houston Independent School District’s (HISD) to promote early literacy and prepare young children to read, develop and improve students’ reading ability, increase student and parent access to literacy resources, and motivate older children to read. Project activities will include the following: (1) Professional development (PD) for teachers, librarians, and library staff on integrating differentiated and technology-infused reading instructional strategies, aligned to the HISD curriculum, across  content areas in grades PK to five; (2) Professional development for teachers, in grades PK to five, on Reading and literacy content knowledge, as well as skills and resources needed to a quality learning experience for all participating children; (3) Training for parents to develop their literacy skills to better support the education of their children and increase student academic achievement in Reading, including training for parents on promoting literacy activities in the home setting; (4) Improving the quality of campus libraries to support instruction and learning to meet the needs and demands of the globalized 21st century knowledge-based economy by providing professional development to librarians and library staff, updating the quality, size, and modality of library books and other materials, and expanding access to technology, digital content, and Internet-based resources; and (5) Promoting literacy and recreational reading through community outreach by bringing books to distribute and to check out to children, through a mobile library, at summer camps and community centers that are located in the ten schools’ neighborhoods.

Refugio Independent School District
PR/Award # S215G140130

Refugio Independent School District (RISD), located in Refugio County, is a public school district based in Refugio, Texas. RISD serves approximately 704 students and is comprised of Title I campuses: Refugio Elementary School – serves Pre-Kindergarten – 6th grade; Refugio grades. The proposed enhanced Project RISE! initiative will be implemented in alignment with the following goals and anticipated outcomes:

  1. A minimum increase of 5% of all students will score at proficiency or above on state reading tests annually.
  2. To enhance teacher effectiveness through the use of high-quality digital resources that improve instructional and student assessment practices as demonstrated by a minimum increase of 10% of STAAR Test scores for K-3 students.
  3. To improve school readiness and learning success for high-need Pre-K children in the areas of language and literacy development.

Education Service Center #2
PR/Award # S215G140036

This project is a consortium, with the Education Service Center, Region 2 as lead applicant and three eligible school districts comprising eight elementary/intermediate campuses in two south Texas Counties. The project will serve approximately 3,915 children from Age 2 to Grade 5 at the following public school districts in South Texas: Mathis ISD (Mathis Elementary, EE-Grade 2, 521 students; Mathis Intermediate, Grades 3-5); West Oso ISD (Kennedy Elementary, EE-Grade 2; West Oso Elementary, Grades 3-5); and Robstown ISD (San Pedro Elementary, EE-Grade 3; Lotspeich Elementary, EE-Grade 3; Robert Driscoll, Jr. Elementary, EE- Grade 3; and Solomon Ortiz Intermediate, Grades 4-5). The total served includes 250 teachers, 8 administrators, 8 school librarians or media specialists, and an estimated 4,000 parents.

The proposed project seeks to provide experiences that strengthen students’ reading and writing abilities. The project will create literacy-rich school and home environments through access to highly appealing reading materials on a wide variety of subjects
and in multiple formats along with intentional outreach and education of families. Participating educators will facilitate student technology use that extends beyond typical individual use to interactive and collaborative activities designed to increase student motivation and reading achievement. The project will include significant professional development and collaborative activities to build educator capacity to support student reading and writing achievement and increase parental involvement. The school library program will serve as the center of the literacy nexus and provide a model of contemporary digital literacies.


Children’s Reading Foundation
PR/Award # S215G140009

Children’s Reading Foundation®, a national not-for-profit organization, is to ensure all children read at or above grade-level by third grade. Our focus is on 1) engaging families and caregivers in the literacy development of their children from birth through the primary grades, and 2) supporting schools and communities to increase student achievement through strong literacy skills. The Children’s Reading Foundation has developed and implemented a range of evidence based programs to strengthen young readers through interactions with caring adults, high-quality literacy activities, and access to resources, such as libraries, book ownership and parent education. Our ongoing “Read with a Child” campaign encourages reading aloud with children 20 minutes every day. There are 23 Children’s Reading Foundation affiliates serving regions in 15 states. We also have agreements with 122 school districts and community agencies
to implement our programs in 24 states.


Milwaukee Public Schools
PR/Award # S215G140087

The Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) Focus on Literacy Foundations (FLF) project will provide a variety of coordinated, high-quality activities to improve literacy skills for students in grades four-year-old kindergarten (K-4) through third grade at four high-need MPS schools. The proposed FLF project will include: Response to Intervention, including the use of technology for intervention support; Professional Learning Communities; and family and community involvement opportunities, including book distributions to expand home libraries (Absolute Priority, Competitive Preference Priority 1, 2, and 3). The project will target approximately 1,400 K4-3rd grade students at four MPS schools. The four targeted schools are all low-achieving schools that serve economically disadvantaged children in grades K4-3. The proposed FLF project will enhance local efforts to promote early literacy, develop children’s reading ability and motivate children to read through research-based strategies.

Last Modified: 11/18/2015