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Press Release

Monday, October 1, 2012

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

New Grant to Help Polk County Students Build Early Reading Skills

Tallahassee, Fla., October 1, 2012 - Polk County Public Schools will get nearly $400,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to help low-income students improve their reading skills. The Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant will pay for programs to increase mastery of literacy and motivate youth to continue reading as they grow. Polk Public Schools' funding is for the first of a two-year learning program. School districts in 21 states with at least 25 percent of students from below the poverty line and the District of Columbia will begin similar programs.

"My congratulations to Polk County Public Schools for their efforts on behalf of struggling readers," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. "Improving student achievement is at the forefront of Florida's education agenda, and learning begins with reading. I look forward to seeing the results of this important project."

Expanding the Books Bridge program will create new ways to train parents and help local families engage young readers in hands-on literacy activities. The school district will also increase library hours, expand family Internet access, and give free books to children.

For more information, visit Innovative Approaches to Literacy.