Reading Public Schools Awarded $200,000 State Literacy Grant

DESE funding will be used to accelerate learning in local classrooms 

Photo by William Zhang

BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), and Senator Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester) joined with Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeffrey Riley to announce the Reading Public Schools have been awarded a $200,000 Accelerating Literacy Learning with High-Quality Instructional Materials Grant. 

Awarded on a competitive basis through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the grant funding is designed to provide school districts with high-quality core instructional materials to accelerate literacy learning. The funding can also be used to provide initial professional development for educators to implement the core instructional materials. 

“The ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic over the last two years have created significant challenges for school districts and have had a measurable impact on students’ learning,” said Representative Jones. “This grant funding will help address this problem by providing the Reading Public Schools with the resources needed to ensure that students continue to have access to a high-quality education.”

“I offer my sincere congratulations to the Reading Public Schools on this grant award,” said Representative Haggerty. “Making sure our students and teachers have up-to-date, top-quality instructional materials has never been more important. These funds will also help the district continue its commitment to making sure literacy is at the forefront of the educational process and will help make sure teachers are able to receive the continuing education they deserve.” 

“Early literacy is critical to the academic and social/emotional development of young children, and unfortunately the pandemic has set us back in ensuring that all our young students can read and write at grade level,” said Senator Lewis, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. “I’m very pleased that the Reading public schools have received this state literacy grant, which I know will be put to good use on behalf of Reading’s youngest learners.” 

According to DESE, the grant funding targets those school districts that: 

  • Demonstrate a pre-existing priority on literacy, which the new curricular materials directly supports, and evidence that implementation of the new resources will be sustainable; 
  • Have conducted or plan to conduct an intentional and inclusive process to select new curricular materials that meet local needs and priorities; 
  • Articulate a plan to provide robust, ongoing and embedded support for educators who are expected to use new curricular materials; and 
  • Will advance culturally responsive practice as part of implementing new curricular materials 

Reading’s $200,000 grant represents the maximum amount awarded under the program. 

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