Three cheers for reading and writing!

Juneau and Tester Announce Extension

of $4.9 Million Striving Readers Grant

Forty-Two Schools and Pre-Kindergarten Centers

Able to Continue Literacy Efforts

Helena, MT – Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau and U. S. Senator Jon Tester announced 42 Montana schools and pre-kindergarten centers will continue to receive federal grant funding for the next two school years to advance literacy skills, reading and writing for students from early childhood through grade 12. Montana will receive $4.9 million for the 2014-2015 school year. In 2012, the competitive grant was awarded to only six states. To date, more than 10,000 students and 850 teachers and staff members have benefited from the Striving Readers grant.

“Reading and writing are vital skills every child must have for their future academic and economic success,” said Superintendent Juneau. “Continuation of this grant will allow us to build on successful strategies to improve literacy and to share those strategies with schools across the state.”

Schools and pre-schools participating in the Montana Striving Readers project have seen gains in school-based assessments, the annual state test, and the ACT college entrance exam.

The goal of The Montana Striving Reader’s Project is to dramatically improve literacy achievement for students and to provide support systems for districts, special education preschools and Head Start programs. The Office of Public Instruction has awarded 10 grants to school districts, which includes 32 schools, and five grants to Head Start and preschool programs throughout the state.

Montana’s senior Senator Jon Tester wrote a letter of support and pushed the U.S. Education Department to approve the funding.

“The jobs of tomorrow depend on strong reading and writing skills,” said Tester, a former teacher.  “I’m proud to support Striving Readers to help young Montanans get a jump on the path to success, and I appreciate Superintendent Juneau’s leadership on this important initiative.”

The Office of Public Instruction is using this grant to improve school readiness and success from early childhood through grade 12 in the area of language and literacy development with an emphasis in closing the achievement gaps among all student groups including low-income students, students with disabilities, American Indian students and limited-English proficient students.

Additionally, the OPI works with grantees to decrease the percentage of students who drop out of high school and implement a data-driven decision-making process to collect, analyze, and use high-quality data to assess the effectiveness of literacy programs.
More information on the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program:

K-12 Schools Receiving Striving Readers Grants:

Charlo Public Schools: Charlo Elementary, Charlo 7-8, Charlo High School
Kalispell Public Schools: Elrod and Russell Elementary Schools

Wolf Point Public Schools: Northside and Southside Elementary Schools, Wolf Point 7-8, Wolf Point High School

Butte Public Schools: Whittier and West Elementary Schools, East Middle School

Great Falls Public Schools: Chief Joseph and Valley View Elementary Schools, East Middle School, Great Falls High School

Libby Public Schools: Libby Elementary School, Libby Middle School

Lone Rock Elementary: Lone Rock Elementary, Lone Rock Middle School

Hardin Public Schools: Crow Agency School and Hardin Elementary School, Hardin Middle School, Hardin High School

Anaconda Public Schools: W. K. Dwyer School, Anaconda High School

Browning Public School: K. W. Bergan, Vina Chattin, Napi and Browning Elementary School, Browning Middle School, Browning High School

Preschools/Head Starts Receiving Striving Readers Grants:

Hardin Special Education Preschool

Rocky Mountain Development Council (Helena)

Central Montana Head Start (Lewistown, Roundup, Harlowton)

Human Resource Development Council (Gallatin Gateway, Bozeman, Livingston, Belgrade)

Great Falls Preschool