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West Fargo Schools receives Striving Reader Grant

West Fargo Public Schools was award a grant totaling $4.28 million, to be dispersed over a three-year period as part of the Striving Reader Grant program.

The grant money from the U.S. Department of Education will be used to aid early childhood

and kindergarten children, and students in elementary, middle, and high school.

State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said that 15 North Dakota communities have been awarded grants totaling $27.3 million to help students improve their reading skills.

"This grant will benefit students of all ages in the classrooms across our state, as well

as youngsters who have not yet started school," Baesler said in a statement.

The money is intended to benefit the literacy needs of disadvantaged children, including those with disabilities, those learning English as a second language, those who are homeless or in foster care, and those living in low-income homes.

Sites that receive the grant are required to track the progress of students who benefit from

the programs. The funds may also be used to provide literacy-related technical assistance

and professional development for educators. Under the direction of the district's Title

I/Reading Coordinator, Mrs. Liz Mackowick, West Fargo Public Schools has established

three goals that it will work to meet using the grant funds: implement a high quality,

evidence-based literacy instruction for all students, implement a multi-tiered system of

support (MTSS) to serve disadvantaged students, and improve literacy outcomes for

disadvantaged students. To do this, the district will sustain and increase professional

development opportunities for staff, build classroom libraries, provide access to school

libraries during the summer, increase support for the literacy strands within AVID

programming, and implement current and new student interventions.

North Dakota school districts and communities partners were invited to begin the

application process for the grants in January.

The district's own extensive application was submitted in June and the grants recipients were announced in early August.

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