State grant to strengthen elementary level reading

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The Pawhuska Public School District has been chosen to receive a grant from the Oklahoma State Department of Education for strengthening elementary-level reading.

Systems Changing Oklahoma Reading Expectations grants are designed to spur innovation and fund comprehensive intervention programs that will help schools improve literacy rates under the state’s Reading Sufficiency Act.

Local Director of Special Services Gerry Craun and Principal Beverly Moore collaberated with iSteps coach Sandy Dossett to obtain the SCORE grant for Indian Camp and Pawhuska Elementary School. A grant provides $100,000 for each of the participating schools, which are required to submit progress reports, annual reports and final reports.

Twenty Oklahoma school districts were selected from among 55 in the state that applied for the SCORE grants. Districts receiving the grants are to act as model programs over the next two years and then will be able to share insights and techniques with other state schools.

A nationally-known literacy consultant, Dr. Lawrence Tihen, will work with grant-awarded districts to ensure success of their programs for students from pre-Kindergarten through the fifth-grade level. According to Tihen, a teacher is usually not to be blamed for the failure of their students to read at grade level. Research data shows 95 percent of the time it is the fault of the system that the district has in place, he said.