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Ohio Focuses $45 Million on Reading Support for Students in Most Need

Release date: 8/4/2014

Ohio Focuses $45 Million on Reading Support for Students in Most Need

Re-structured Program Benefits Students at 61 Learning Centers; 186 Other Programs Continue


The Ohio Department of Education today awarded more than $45 million to 247 schools and community-based programs as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Center grants. 

The program provides opportunities for children who come from economically disadvantaged families and attend low-performing schools to receive additional academic supports. School districts, schools, community-based organizations, including faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education, city or county government agencies, for-profit corporations and other public or private entities are eligible for the 21st Century Learning Center grants.

This year, the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Federal Programs modified the grant program to focus more on reading instruction. The re-structure of this grant program targets building literacy skills inside the school day in addition to the traditional out-of-school times.

Under the re-structured part of the program, 61 Community Learning Centers will receive funding for the first time while 186 Community Learning Centers will continue to receive funding for their programs.

“We have to keep pounding away to improve childhood literacy in Ohio, so we’ve taken advantage of federal flexibility to fund these 61 programs focused on reading,” said Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction. “We believe they’ll help more girls and boys become strong readers and successful learners who have what they need to thrive in school and life. That’s our job.”

The Ohio Department of Education requires new grants recipients to focus on literacy skills for kindergarten through fourth grade students. Additionally, new grants for middle and high school students focus on literacy plus college and career readiness, as well as drop-out prevention. The new programs will follow one of three paths prescribed by the Department of Education.

The new grant awards range from $150,000 to $500,000. Path A grants range up to $500,000 and are awarded for both in-school and out-of-school programs focused on literacy in pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade. Path B awards range up to $200,000 and are for out-of-school programming with a focus on Kindergarten through fourth grade literacy. Path C awards also range to $200,000 and are for out-of-school programming with a focus on literacy plus college/career readiness and/or dropout prevention in middle and high schools. 

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants are three-year grants that are renewed annually. The U.S. Department of Education provides the funding to Ohio for these grants, which increased to $45 million in 2014-2015 from $43 million the previous year. There are currently 186 recipients that are continuing to receive funding this year.

A list of the 61 new grant recipients and the 186 continuing grant recipients is available here.

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