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Oklahoma's State Board of Education awards new grants to 20 schools for purpose of strengthening reading and literacy

SCORE logo "Systems Changing Oklahoma Reading Expectations"OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 19, 2014) — Twenty Oklahoma public schools will soon receive a new grant from the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) to spur innovation in reading and literacy at the elementary level.

The State Board of Education today unanimously approved awarding of the Systems Changing Oklahoma Reading Expectations (SCORE) grants designed to help schools improve literacy rates under the Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA). The grants fund comprehensive intervention reading programs in schools that have proven especially motivated toward addressing illiteracy.

Each school that receives a grant will act as a model program over the next two years, sharing insights and techniques with all Oklahoma public schools.

"We are grateful for all of the excellent applications and wish we could award every one of them," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi. “Congratulations are in order to every award winner. We appreciate their willingness to pursue this outstanding opportunity for their students and their teachers. Their willingness to serve as mentors for others to undertake this systems change underscores the importance of the program."

Fifty-five schools applied for a grant, which aims to help schools make “systems change” by focusing on how structure and decision-making can be improved to strengthen the effectiveness of literacy programs.

Dr. Lawrence Tihen, a literacy consultant to numerous states and the author of the Florida Reading Model, will be working with the grant awardees to ensure literacy success beginning at the pre-Kindergarten level and extending to fifth grade.

Dr. Tihen said people often mistakenly believe that if students are failing to read on grade level, then it must be the fault of the teacher, parent or leadership at the school. Instead, he contends, research and data shows that 95 percent of the time it is the fault of the system in place. Changing the system — along with related aligning of resources, teaching materials, professional development and funding — will result in many more students being able to read at grade level. 

OSDE elementary language arts director and SCORE grant coordinator Michele Sprague said the ultimate aim of the grants “is to provide support, guidance, professional development and funding so awardees will effectively change their systems into model schools for literacy.” 

Each school that receives a SCORE grant will be awarded $100,000 to spend over the course of this school year and next school year. Under terms of the grant, the participating schools will submit progress reports, annual reports and a final report. The schools are expected to begin receiving the grand funds within the next few weeks.

The 20 recipients are:

  • Ada – Hayes Grade Center, Willard Grade Center and Washington Grade Center (1 grant)
  • Barnsdall – Barnsdall Elementary School
  • Battiest – Battiest Elementary School
  • Caney – Caney Elementary School
  • Cottonwood – Cottonwood Public School
  • Holdenville – Ethel Reed Elementary School
  • Hydro-Eakly – Hydro-Eakly Elementary School
  • Konawa – Konawa Elementary School
  • Leach – Leach Public School
  • McLoud – McLoud Elementary School
  • Pawhuska – Indian Camp Elementary School and Pawhuska Elementary School (1 grant)
  • Pleasant Grove – Pleasant Grove Public School
  • Putnam City – Central Elementary School
  • Putnam City – Hilldale Elementary School
  • Putnam City – Rollingwood Elementary School
  • Tenkiller – Tenkiller Public School
  • Tishomingo – Tishomingo Elementary School
  • Tulsa – Hawthorne Elementary School
  • Vian – Vian Elementary School
  • Yale – Yale Elementary School



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Last updated on November 19, 2014