The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) awarded the Thomas County School System $3,754,352 over four years to advance literacy efforts. During this second round of Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia (L4GA), grants were awarded to 23 school districts totaling $22,101,554.
Curriculum Director Robin Cartright “We are excited to again be awarded the L4GA grant as it allows us to provide literacy opportunities to our students and to our community. Through previous grant awards, we have implemented literacy initiatives and provided books and other texts that have led to stronger readers, and I have no doubt this will continue with the current grant award.”
Dr. Lisa Williams, Superintendent of Thomas County Schools stated, “I commend the extraordinary collaboration among our district and school level faculty in preparing the grant. It’s because of their exceptional teamwork that our system was awarded the L4GA literacy grant. The funds received from the grant will go a long way in helping our system to continue its focus on overall literacy improvement."
As a recipient of the Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia (L4GA) grant, Thomas County Schools will focus on creating plans for children from birth to 12th grade. Additionally, the school will partner with the community to support early literacy for all local children.
“School districts selected for the first round of L4GA funding made great strides in student literacy learning," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I'm eager to see the progress made by our new grant recipients in the coming years. Making sure students are reading on grade-level remains mission-critical, top-priority work for the Georgia Department of Education and we continue to seek all possible opportunities to support that work at the school and district level."
Introduced in 2016, L4GA is a unique approach to improving literacy that pairs community-driven action with research-proven instruction. In its first round, funded by a federal Striving Readers grant of $61.5 million, 38 school districts (map below) partnered with early learning and care providers as well as community organizations to implement community efforts and improve classroom instruction. By working together, schools, early learning providers and caretakers, and community leaders are moving the needle on literacy – in 2019, third-grade students showed significant gains in English Language Arts and grade-level reading.
Georgia was awarded a total of $179,174,766 over five years to continue the L4GA initiative, which aims to improve literacy outcomes for students from birth through grade 12. Ninety-five percent of that amount is being competitively awarded to local school districts and their community partners. The awards take into account the poverty level of a community, the percentage of students reading below grade level, the recent rate of growth in the number of students reading above grade level, and whether a school is identified for support from the Department of Education's School Improvement team.