Sep 8, 2011 6:08 PM by Marnee Banks
Montana is one of six states which is receiving more than $7 million to help improve literacy.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau says her office applied for the federal grant in order to launch the "Montana Striving Reader's Project."
She says the money will be awarded to up to 35 schools to advance literacy in Montana students.
Juneau noted, "Early literacy is key for success in K-12 education. Early literary, reading, writing, language skills, are so necessary when students first enter Kindergarten and 1st grade. They need it to succeed as they move throughout the system. Our ultimate goal is making sure they graduate from high school. So this is going to help the entire system."
She added, "We know that students who struggle with reading are at a higher risk of dropping out of school. This grant is going to provide us with another tool to ensure Montana students are achieving at high levels and earning their high school diploma."
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 9% of Montana's population lacks basic literacy skills.
Juneau says those percentages increase in rural Montana and on Montana's reservations.
Juneau says school districts and Head Start programs will be eligible to apply for the funding.