Middlesboro schools awarded grant

Published 11:31 am Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Literacy skills are an ongoing source of concern for parents and educators. Recently, the United States Department of Education has given the Kentucky Department of Education a three-year grant, totalling $24.9 million, to help develop pre-literacy skills as well as reading and writing skills for Kentucky children.

The Middlesboro Independent School District received the Striving Readings Comprehensive Literacy Grant through the KDE for a total of $440,000 over the course of two years.

According to Instructional Supervisor Anthony Maxwell and Instructional Coordinator Sheila Smith of the Middlesboro Independent School System, the grant will help children from birth all the way up to 12th grade. The grant also covers special training for students and teachers, school supplies and other areas that need support.

Maxwell stated the three major pushes for the grant will be oral language skills with 4-year-olds, kindergarten readiness and reading competency across all grade levels.

“With the governor cutting the textbook budget and the professional development budget this is going to really supplement what we lost. We’ll be able to buy materials and resources and we can get training for our teachers,” said Smith.

Smith also spoke to how wide-reaching the trainings and support will be that the grant will provide. It not only benefits students and teachers, but the community at large because a well-educated community can bring that knowledge with them to the workforce and beyond.

This new SRCL grant is not the only grant the school system is excited about. They are also recipients of the LINK (Literacy Innovations for Neighborhoods in Kentucky) grant and are involved in the Kentucky Writing Project.

Maxwell describes the three programs as a “perfect storm,” because together they focus on reading, writing and speaking skills.