Grant gives free books to preschoolers

Published 9:59 am Monday, January 7, 2019

The new year also marks a new chapter for the Clark County Preschool.

Thanks to the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) Discretionary Grant Program, eligible students received the first of many free books this week.

Principal Kara Davies said the first book, “The Little Engine That Could,” will go home with students as a way to encourage and support early literacy for the whole family. Eligible students will received a free book each month.

“Children who are read to at home do better at reading later in life,” Davies said.

The Striving Readers grant is designed to create a comprehensive approach to advance literacy in children, including those with limited-English-proficiency and those with disabilities, from birth to grade 12.

The United States Department of Education (USED) awarded the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) a 3-year, $24.9 million grant to support the development of pre-literacy skills, reading and writing among Kentucky’s children, according to KDE’s website.

With the funding, KDE created a proposal, Kentucky Comprehensive Literacy — A Framework for Literacy to Unify and Engage Networks of Teachers (KyCL: FLUENT), which aims to refine and strengthen existing professional learning supports and systems for literacy development across the Commonwealth, according to KDE’s website.

Objectives focus on gains in oral language skills for 4-year-olds, kindergarten readiness, increased reading proficiency at all school levels and increased content proficiency at the secondary level.

Kentucky’s Striving Readers project will serve about 200,000 students across the state, and Clark County Preschool is one of 45 schools to receive the grant funding.

Davies said student awareness in preschool and kindergarten directly impact a student’s reading assessment in the 10th grade.

“It’s our moral imperative to ensure every child in kindergarten has a really strong awareness of the alphabet, phonetics, phonemic awareness and language skills,” Davies said.

This year, aside from the free books, the preschool is hoping to provide other resources to support literacy as part of the Striving Readers grant. Davies said she is also thankful for the support from district administrators such as Superintendent Paul Christy and Chief Academic Officer Brenda Considine.

“We want to help ensure students leave Clark County Preschool with strong early literacy skills,” Davies said.

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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