USD 453 Partners to Win Millions for Literacy

Leavenworth USD 453 Partners to Win $3.2 Million for Student Literacy
Posted on 06/14/2018
The Leavenworth Unified School District (USD 453) learned this week that it is part of a consortium awarded a grant totaling more than $3.2 million from the Literacy Network of Kansas (LiNK), a project of the U.S. Department of Education’s Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy program. LiNK projects will help advance literacy skills of children from birth through 12th grade, helping them to become successful readers and writers.

“This grant award would not have been possible without collaboration amongst districts with a shared commitment to improving student literacy. The three year plan that was submitted and approved is specific to language acquisition, content area literacy, balanced literacy, family and community engagement, and innovation and impact. This is truly a win for Leavenworth students and our community,” said Dr. Mike Roth, USD 453 Superintendent of Schools.

Eight grantees were selected from a competitive application process, according to the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). Kansas received the $27 million federal grant – one of the largest competitive grants ever received by KSDE – in October 2017. The agency applied for the grant in July 2017 with the assistance of the KU Center on Research and Learning. The eight awardees will receive more than $3.2 million for literacy support during a three-year period. The eight that were selected – four individual districts and four consortia - represent a total of 32 Kansas school districts and 88,000 children.

KSDE invited districts/consortia meeting specific criteria to apply for funds from the statewide $27 million grant. Districts had to serve at least 5,000 students in order to apply individually, or form and compete as a consortium collectively representing the required student total. Dollars will be used to support literacy instructional support, professional development, data collection, family engagement, and program management over the three year grant period.

“Our district partnered with Atchison USD 409 and the Iowa Reading Research Center to study our needs, and identify our local approach to how this investment could be used to improve student literacy in Leavenworth. There is a wide range of strategies and activities planned to address the wide range of needs from preschool through high school,” said Laura Batson, Director of Teaching and Learning.

Throughout the three-year grant cycle, a network of resources for educators and families will be developed for future use. These resources will impact literacy at the state, regional and community levels, as well as providing professional learning opportunities for teachers and families.