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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Contact:Contact: JC Considine 781-338-3112

Massachusetts Announces $3.3 Million in K-12 Literacy Grants to Boost Number of Proficient Readers

Funds to support partnerships that enhance professional development practices

Malden - More than $3.3 million in K-12 literacy grants will be distributed across the Commonwealth to support professional development partnerships to increase the number of proficient readers in high need districts.

The Consolidated Literacy grants will fund partnerships of eligible districts, schools, institutions of higher education, and other professional development providers with expertise in K-12 reading instruction to enhance the implementation of effective, research-based instructional practices and to increase the number and percent of students who are proficient readers.

The focus on literacy comes at the close of Family Literacy Month in Massachusetts, as announced in November by Governor Deval Patrick to help promote the importance of a strong foundation in reading for all children.

"There is nothing we value more than our children and the quality of their education. We must ensure that every student has the ability to read if they are going to be ready to learn," said Governor Patrick. "The Commonwealth is committed to making strategic investments like these in professional development for our teachers so that our kids have access to the world-class education they deserve."

Twelve Commissioner's and Underperforming Districts serving 24,300 students will receive a total of $790,000, with grant awards ranging from $25,000 to $110,000. In addition, 96 other public school districts, including charter schools that serve a total of about 88,000 students will receive more than $2.5 million in grants, with awards ranging from $2,000 to $310,000.

"Every child needs a strong foundation in literacy to be able to read, write, and do math well," said Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "These grants will support the work of teachers in high need districts by providing statewide professional development opportunities and connecting districts to proven research-based practices in reading instruction."

The K-12 literacy grants provide the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education the opportunity to work with 29 professional development partnership organizations and individuals in Massachusetts. These organizations include the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Boston, and Lowell; Framingham State College and Salem State College; Harvard University, Tufts University, and Lesley University; and organizations such as Bay State Reading Institute, Keys to Literacy, the Hanson Initiative for Language and Literacy (HILL), Teachers21, Ideal Consulting, the Public Consulting Group, and others. Additional partners include Reading Recovery, and collaboratives including Hampshire Ed Collaborative, North River Collaborative, and Cape Cod Collaborative.

The following 12 Commissioner's and Underperforming Districts received grants:

Boston Public Schools $110,000
Brockton Public Schools (Brockton and Randolph) $125,000
Gill Montague Regional School District $25,000
Holyoke Public Schools $35,000
Lawrence Public Schools $90,000
Lowell Public Schools $45,000
Lynn Public Schools $45,000
New Bedford Public Schools $90,000
Randolph Public Schools $35,000
Southbridge Public Schools $25,000
Springfield Public Schools $55,000
Worcester Public Schools $110,000

Information on the award of an additional $2.5 million in grants to 96 public school districts was available on the Department's website.

Last Updated: December 8, 2009
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