The Texarkana Arkansas School District is one of 128 schools and districts in the state that will receive subgrant funds to support literacy. The Arkansas Department of Education received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $38 million for the Arkansas Comprehensive Literacy State Development Program. The Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education accepted applications for the Successful Outcomes for Arkansas Readers (SOAR) subgrant, and TASD was awarded $99,500.
TASD will use the grant funds to create a sustainable solution to address literacy challenges facing our schools by focusing on four major areas: family literacy, a summer reading program, professional development for teachers, and reading instructional materials for classrooms. “The SOAR grant provides resources to address the reading development of our students by enhancing phonics instructional materials and increasing all students’ access to books both digital and print,” said Director of Curriculum and Instruction Jennifer Cook.
Funding from the SOAR grant will help ensure that all students have access to quality text for reading enjoyment and skill application. “Providing books that children can read at home is essential to increasing their literacy skills,” commented Cook. Grant funds will also be utilized to provide families with resources to help support their at home readers. In addition to student and family support, the grant funds will help provide additional professional development for teachers to extend the learning from the Science of Reading training and enhance day-to-day application of how best to teach each child to read.