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.
- Are you continuing to do the same thing year after year and getting the same results?
- Is your summer school providing data that shows reading improvement for students?
- Are you providing summer help for all students to improve their reading skills?
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–5 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 makeup 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.