Arizona Literacy Programs Receive $11.6 Million from State Department of Education

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PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Education on Thursday announced $11.6 million in grants for three programs designed to help children improve their reading skills.

“Helping a child learn to read is … an obligation to our future that we must fulfill,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said in a press release.

“Throughout the pandemic, my administration has been committed to improving literacy resources and supports for Arizona’s children and these investments will help continue that work.”

The bulk of the funding, $10 million, will be used to support a Valley of the Sun United Way initiative called Project CALL: Collaborating to Accelerate Literacy and Learning.

The United Way program, a joint effort with Read on Arizona and other community partners, will create literacy centers to help reduce learning loss over the summer.

“This community-focused partnership will create and strengthen literacy resources throughout Arizona while increasing access to programs and services for families,” said Carla Vargas Jasa, President and CEO of Valley. of the Sun United Way, in the release.

Arizona PBS Educational Outreach is receiving $961,000 for summer camps to help 4- and 5-year-olds in low-income communities prepare for kindergarten.

The third grant, $602,000, goes to the Valley Childsplay AZ theater troupe for a program to help preschool teachers improve literacy and language development in their young students.

Grants are paid for with US federal relief funds from the COVID-19 Rescue Plan.

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