By Laura Bemus | Categories All | Curriculum | Educators | Funding | K-5 Literacy | Learning Loss | Results | October 30, 2020

What are the priorities in your school district? Although sometimes we get lost in athletics and safety, especially during this unprecedented time with the COVID-19 pandemic, improving reading skills across the district is the most important priority for the success of all students. Often money gets in the way of purchasing research-based programs that work, like Kids Read Now. Funding is available through millions of dollars in state, federal, local, and corporate grants. Let us examine some ideas to help you meet your goal of improving reading skills for students.

Title I Funding

Title I funding is typically the best source and where districts receive the majority of their grant money; however, it is not the only source, and can be combined with other federal and state grants. Although it’s not the only source, it’s the best place to begin due to the size of the dollar allocations. It is important to check data and make changes where this funding is not making an impact.

If not, stop now and reallocate this funding. Providing a turn-key solution that makes connections with families and extends the school year through the summer for K – 3 students has benefited many students through the Kids Read Now program. The results are proven through independent research.

Other Important Sources

Beyond Title I grants, there are many Federal, State and Local additional grants available and especially currently. These funding opportunities include Federal grants: IDEA to support students with disabilities, Title 3A to support Limited English Proficient (LEP) students, Title 4A to improve student academic achievement, and Title 5B for rural school districts. States also allocate funds to school districts through grants for the Coronavirus and Health and Wellness; these can be used to extend the school year and make up time lost in the spring of 2020 due to the shutdown of schools.

Community and local funds are additional funding sources. These include Rotary, Optimist, Kiwanis, United Way, PTA, PTO, Elks, Eagles, Moose, Veterans organizations, and local foundations and businesses. All of these are good sources to provide funding and volunteer assistance in literacy instruction; especially for Kids Read Now, a nonprofit organization. When organizations and community members know that Kids Read Now extends the school year to close the learning gap that exists for students living in poverty, engages parents and family with a result proven strategy, they are willing to give. It is usually as simple as asking and providing a budget or statistics; both of which are provided by Kids Read Now. It is a great choice with proven results through independent research!

There has never been a better time to engage students through the summer, while limiting in person contact, using summer downtime to provide literacy support that is turnkey, data-driven and offers real time student analytics.

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By Laura Bemus | Categories All | Curriculum | Educators | Funding | K-5 Literacy | Learning Loss | Results | October 23, 2020

How are Title I funds spent in your school district? This is a question that should be revisited and examined each year. Often educators are overwhelmed with the many requirements of spending Title I funds and the never-ending sales pitches for programs that can best utilize the money. The easiest decision is to continue to spend the grant money the same way that it has been spent in the past.

When revisiting the purpose of Title I, Part A – Improving basic Programs, the money is provided as supplemental funding to state and Local Education Agencies (LEA’s). The funding specifically provides resources to LEAs and schools with high percentages of students from low-income families. Title I resources are intended to improve education quality and help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards with a focus on students that are most at risk of failing.

If you continue to spend Title I funds the same each year, please stop and reflect on these questions: Is there research to support that decision? Are there results or improvements in student’s literacy skills that are documented with data? Are students better prepared to succeed in high school and beyond? It’s also the year that you should ask if a change in spending Title I funds should occur due to the many changes that have taken place in educating students during the pandemic.

Title I funding offers substantial assistance in providing best practices in literacy instruction and improvement. Educators know that improvement of students’ reading skills is at the core of reaching the desired outcomes and improvements for at risk students. Teacher and student days are packed full, especially with remote and hybrid learning options that educators are now facing with the pandemic.

A proven way to gain time is to engage students throughout the summer. Kids Read Now extends the school year to close the learning gap that exists for students living in poverty, engages parents and family with a result proven strategy. Kids Read Now is eligible for use of Title I funds. In fact, it’s a great choice with proven results through independent research. Now is the perfect time to engage students through the summer, while limiting in person contact, using summer downtime to provide literacy support that is turnkey, data-driven and offers real time student analytics.

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