HISD Receives More Than $1.5 Million in Literacy Grants

 $839K to be used districtwide for struggling readers; $750K to be used at Key, Kashmere campuses

 HISD’s literacy programs will be getting a much-needed boost this year, thanks to two grants it received from the government totaling more than $1.5 million.

 The first, valued at just over $839,000 from the Texas Education Agency’s Student Success Initiative, will be used to help struggling students across the district. About $225,000 of the grant has been earmarked for math interventions. The remainder will be used for reading interventions targeting Tier 2 and Tier 3 students who are reading far below grade level. The grant will allow the district to hire tutors, provide teachers with supplemental duty pay, and purchase instructional materials.

 The second grant, valued at $750,000, was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education in October to increase students’ access to reading materials and to extend library hours at three campuses: Kashmere Gardens ES, Key MS, and Kashmere HS.

 “This is about taking them all the way from cradle to college,” explained HISD Manager of Grant Development Annetra Piper. “We have purchased Kindles and e-readers that students will be able to check out just like hard copies of books, and we have a partnership with the Collaborative for Children where teachers go to local nursery schools and help prepare children for preschool and kindergarten, so they’re ready to go once they enter Kashmere Gardens.”

Other resources purchased with the grant, such as laptop computers and iPods, will be used by teachers in their classrooms. The grant will also pay for a librarian at Kashmere High School. 

“At the end of the two-year grant, an external evaluator will assess our progress to see if we are meeting our objectives,” added Piper.