Superintendent Juneau Announces $6 Million Early Reading First Grant for Montana


Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Jessica Rhoades
Jrhoades@mt.gov
406-444-3160


Helena, Mont. – A new grant will help more Montana young children learn to read at an early age. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau today announced that the Office of Public Instruction will receive a $6 million "Early Reading First" grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Known as the Montana Partnership for Early Literacy (MPEL), the project will assist approximately 400 young children gain literacy skills at a young age.

  "This grant will forge great partnerships between OPI and the early childhood community. Working together on early childhood language acquisition and literacy in these partner schools and communities will bear lasting rewards as the students gain the necessary skills that will set them on the path to academic success and high school graduation," said Juneau.

  This is the first year OPI has been awarded this grant. It is designed to transform early education programs into centers of excellence that provide high-quality, early education to young children—especially those from low-income families.

  "This will help children and families involved with these centers, and help support these communities in creating centers of excellence that will serve as a model and resource for all Montana preschools," said Juneau.

  MPEL is a partnership between the OPI and five participant preschool centers; namely – Evergreen District Special Services Preschool, Fort Belknap Head Start, Great Falls Preschool Center, Great Falls Head Start, and Hardin Pre-K Center. MPEL strives to meet four goals which include graduation with high achievement levels in literacy skills, classroom materials and spatial arrangements to support literacy development, high levels of instructional proficiency for teachers, and successful transitions into K-3 programs.  

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Jessica Rhoades
Communications Director
p: 406.444.3160 
c: 406.431.0151
f: 406.444.9299
 

Montana Office of Public Instruction
Denise Juneau, Superintendent  

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