Office of Public Instruction

HELENA – Schools across Montana will receive $7.6 million in federal grant funding for the current school year to advance literacy skills, reading and writing for students from early childhood through grade 12. The money came from the Striving Readers Grant, a competitive grant awarded to only six states that will be renewed next year.

In Montana, the project’s goal is to dramatically improve literacy achievement and to provide support systems for districts, special education preschools and Head Start programs. Twenty-eight districts and eight established preschool and Head Start Programs applied for the grant. The Montana Office of Public Instruction is awarding 10 grants to school districts, which includes 29 schools, and five grants to Head Start and preschool programs throughout the state.

The Office of Public Instruction is using this grant to improve school readiness and success from early childhood through grade 12 in the area of language and literacy development with an emphasis in closing the achievement gaps among all student groups including low-income students, students with disabilities, American Indian students and limited-English proficient students.

Additionally, the OPI will work with grantees to decrease the percentage of students who drop out of high school and implement a decision-making process to collect, analyze and use high-quality data to assess the effectiveness of literacy programs.