A total of 72 school districts in Indiana, including six local ones, were announced as recipients of the Competitive Science of Reading Grant from the state Department of Education. This grant totals $15 million and will be used to focus on implementing science of reading principles in grades K-3. The amount each district received was based on K-3 enrollments, and the grant winners include Duneland, Griffith, Hanover Community, Lake Central, Hobart, and Munster.
The districts plan to use evidence-based practices aligned with the science of reading, which is a state-endorsed phonics-based curriculum. Some of the practices that successful applicants opted for include deploying full-time literacy instructional coaches in each school, supporting teachers and administrators in pursuing professional development training, increasing instructional time for struggling readers, and purchasing core and supplemental curricular materials aligned to the science of reading.
This grant is part of Indiana’s $170 million investment, in partnership with the Lilly Endowment, towards literacy and the science of reading. With one in five students being unable to read based on this year’s third grade state assessment, State Secretary of Education Katie Jenner emphasized the importance of learning to read by third grade, not only for individual students but also for the state’s economy. Jenner also highlighted the state’s goal of having 95% of third graders able to read by 2027.