Murray Announces $13.1 Million for Reading Programs

Oct 02 2002

Federal grant will ensure that all children read at grade level by the end of the third grade

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced that the state of Washington will receive a $13.1 million grant award to help districts and schools improve student achievement in reading. Authorized under the Reading First program, the grants will help districts and schools across Washington state to apply scientifically-based reading research and proven instructional and assessment tools to ensure that all children can read at grade level or above by the end of the third grade.

Senator Murray is a member of the Labor, Health, and Human Services Committee, which included the Reading First Program in its reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) last year.

"Learning to read is one of the most important skills we can teach our children – it is the foundation upon which learning depends. Reading opens doors and opens minds," Senator Murray said. "Our children deserve every opportunity to get ahead, and the Reading First grants will ensure that all children in Washington state have the tools they need to succeed."

Washington state will allocate about $10.5 million of the grant to approximately 53 schools in eligible districts. These allocations will allow schools to implement reading programs for students in kindergarten through third grade and to provide professional development to ensure that all teachers have the skills needed to teach these programs effectively.

Additionally, the program will support the use of instructional assessments so that teachers can effectively identify the reading barriers facing their students, as well as monitor their progress.

Washington state will begin making subgrant awards in May 2003. As part of the State's professional development plan, Washington will hold annual Summer Reading Academies to provide teachers with in-depth grade level specific training on scientifically based reading research and it's classroom applications.

"As a former teacher, I understand the importance of engaging educators in the pursuit of learning," Senator Murray said. "By providing Washington state teachers with the skills and tools necessary to make reading come alive, we can ensure that our children develop the literacy skills they need to succeed."