Baesler Announces ‘Striving Reader’ Grants

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557

Baesler Announces ‘Striving Reader’ Grants

BISMARCK, N.D., Aug. 13, 2018 – State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said Wednesday that 15 North Dakota communities have been awarded up to $27.3 million in grants to help students improve their reading skills.

The “Striving Readers” money from the U.S. Department of Education will be used to aid early childhood and kindergarten children, and students in elementary, middle and high school, Baesler said.
“This grant will benefit students of all ages in classrooms across our state, as well as youngsters who have not yet started school,” Baesler said.

North Dakota school districts and community partners were invited to apply for the grants in January. The money is intended to benefit the literacy needs of disadvantaged children, including those with disabilities; those learning English as a second language; children who are homeless or in foster care; and those living in low-income homes.

Sites that receive the money are required to track the progress of students who benefit from the programs. The funds may also be used to provide literacy-related technical assistance and professional development for educators. The grant funds may not be substituted for existing financial support for reading programs, Baesler said.

North Dakota legislators have approved distributing $10.6 million in grants during the first year of the three-year program. The Department of Public Instruction plans to include the remaining $16.7 million in its budget proposal to the 2019 Legislature. If lawmakers authorize the grant funding, the 15 communities will receive annual grant installments for the following two years.

The first year’s grant amounts are listed below:
Belcourt; $714,277
Bismarck: $2.18 million
Devils Lake: $526,432
Fargo: $864,325
Grafton: $737,494
Jamestown: $404,125
Kidder County: $272,173
Langdon: $77,051
Mandan: $329,958
Minot: $1.45 million
New Town: $897,775
Parshall: $248,469
Rugby: $140,020
South Prairie: $232,684
West Fargo: $1.56 million