Grants for Literacy

States Look To Raise Reading Proficiency in Title I Schools

The United States Department of Education is awarding $6.61 million in grants to eight states to help improving reading achievement among poorer students. The monies will fund a range of programs incorporating research-based methods and tools, including education technologies, to help deal with "the challenges of poverty and reading below grade level."

The grants are being awarded through the federal Striving Readers program, which aims to improve achievement among middle school and high school students in Title I-eligible schools "with significant numbers of students reading below grade-levels." It also seeks to build a research base on techniques for improving reading achievemet for students in these grades.

Projects funded under the Striving Readers program have historically varied widely in both approach and means of assessment. They include targeted intervention, whole-school intervention, and teacher professional development as key components. Detailed, specific examples of such programs can be found here.

"When students enter middle and high school with reading skills that are significantly below grade level, they are at great risk of dropping out," said Arne Duncan, U.S. secretary of education, in a statement released this week. "Programs like Striving Readers give students a chance to improve their reading skills and succeed in school and in life."

This year's recipients included:

The department added that, under President Barack Obama's 2010 budget request, funding for Striving Readers would increase to $70.4 million, in addition to $300 million in new early literacy grant funds.

Further information about Striving Readers, including links to project profiles, can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is edtorial director, education for 1105 Media's Public Sector Media Group. A 22-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).