$3.6 Million Early Reading First Grant

January 28, 2003
A public recognition ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 29, at Brookhaven Elementary School to announce a three-year Early Reading First grant of $3.6 million from the U.S. Department of Education to support local efforts to improve the language and pre-reading skills of young children.

Board of Education President Patricia B. O'Neill, Superintendent Jerry D. Weast, and other members of the Board of Education will describe plans to create an Early Reading First (ERF) Center at each of five elementary schools within the Wheaton Cluster serving large numbers of pre-kindergarten students at risk because of poverty and language: Brookhaven, Harmony Hills, Viers Mill, Weller Road, and Wheaton Woods elementary schools.

The program will build on the school system’s existing Early Success Performance Plan and will provide a congruent approach to early literacy instruction in pre-kindergarten classrooms, day care centers, and home environments, as well as provide ongoing professional development for teachers at each center.

The grant is the fifth largest of 30 grants, totaling more than $72 million, awarded to school districts and other organizations nationwide. The funds are authorized under Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

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