FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2003
Districts to Receive Reading First Funds
– Seventeen Illinois school districts will share in
$11 million through the federal No Child Left Behind’s
Reading First program. The grant awards are designed to improve
reading achievement in grades pre-kindergarten through third
by implementing a classroom reading program based on phonemic
awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency
and reading strategies.
final district grant is based on the number of schools participating
in the Reading First program, with awards ranging between
$50,000 and $175,000 per school. Districts were eligible to
apply for the competitive grants based on the number of third-grade
students not meeting the Illinois Learning Standards for English
Language Arts in reading and the number of low-income students.
receiving funding include:
North District 98
Brooklyn District 188
Heights District 170
County District 130
Forest District 163
Island District 41
districts may receive funding.
funds come at a most important time for districts facing financial
cutbacks and shortfalls,” said State Superintendent
of Education Robert Schiller. “The grants will allow
classroom teachers to apply new strategies in low-income districts
where a significant number of students are not meeting the
selection committee reviewed the applications and scored districts
on 12 criteria focusing on the district’s assessment
process, core program implementation and staff development.
Each review team was composed of a university reading expert,
a classroom or district reading specialist, reading staff
from the Regional Office or Intermediate Service Center and
ISBE staff from the divisions of System of Support or Early
fall, six districts received funding through the Reading First
program. They were: Burnham District 154-5, Cahokia CUSD 187,
Decatur District 61, Harvey District 152, LaSalle Elementary
District 122 and Lindop District 92.
is one of 25 states to receive federal funds to improve reading
achievement through No Child Left Behind’s Reading First
program. Reading First is authorized under Title I, Part B,
Subpart 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and is
designed to ensure that all students read at grade level or
above by the end of third grade.