SUPTS. MEMO NO. 149
August 4, 2000
|FROM:||Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Reading Excellence Act|
On July 26, 2000, the United States Department of Education awarded the Virginia Department of Education a $15 million Reading Excellence Act grant to improve the reading skills of children in eligible schools and school divisions across the state. The grants will be awarded on a competitive basis.
The official eligibility list will be available in October. Those divisions and schools eligible will be Title I schools engaged in school improvement initiatives that meet the criteria set by the revised Standards of Accreditation. It is anticipated that approximately 50 to 60 schools will be served by Local Reading Improvement Awards and 25 to 30 schools by Tutorial Assistance Awards.
The purposes of the Reading Excellence Program are: (1) to provide children with the readiness skills and support they need to learn to read after they enter school; (2) to teach every child to read by the end of the third grade; (3) to use research-based methods to improve the instructional practices of teachers and other instructional staff; 4) to expand the number of high-quality family literacy programs; and (5) to provide early literacy intervention to children experiencing early reading difficulties and to reduce the number of children who are incorrectly identified with a disability and are inappropriately referred for special education. The primary activities supported by this grant are professional development, tutoring, family literacy, and transition programs for kindergarten students.
Two grant competitions will be conducted simultaneously
to determine the schools and school divisions to be awarded grants under
the Reading Excellence Program. These competitions will be held for Local
Reading Improvement Grants and Tutorial Assistance Grants.
1) have at least one school in Title I school improvement
2) have the highest or second highest percentages of
children in the state.
Assistance Grants: Eligible school divisions must meet any one of the
three criteria described above for Local Reading Improvement Grants and
be located in an empowerment zone or an enterprise community.
October 24-26, 2000, at The Hotel Roanoke. Registration information for the conference will be available in August.
Questions regarding the Reading Excellence
Act grant should be addressed to Linda Poorbaugh, associate director of
reading and language arts, Office of Elementary and Middle School Instructional
Services at (804) 786-3925 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org