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School district receives literacy grant

By Staff | Apr 24, 2020

The Rugby Public School District announced last week it received a $1 million grant to support ongoing literacy support efforts that began two years ago.

The Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) grant of North Dakota was described as a “highly competitive grant” in an emailed statement from Mandy McNeff, who serves as grant coordinator for the Rugby schools.

“You might remember that RPS was awarded the Striving Readers grant in the fall of 2018,” McNeff wrote. “With that grant, RPS was able to make some very positive changes in how they taught literacy. That grant allowed RPS to hire valuable staff to carry out their literacy initiatives.”

McNeff said more that 40 local education agencies applied for the grant. “Approximately 50 percent of the applications received funding and RPS was one of them,” she noted.

McNeff said the CLSD grant covers a five-year period and will continue work begun when the district received a Striving Readers grant in 2018.

“The CLSD grant will allow us to maintain our new staff that were paid under the Striving Readers grant,” she wrote.

Employees hired under the prior grant to support literacy include a literary instructional coach, who McNeff said “is an expert in literacy interventions with students” and a Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS) coordinator, who McNeff said, “looks at systems and how to better reach students who may be below grade level.”

The prior grant also funded an MTSS paraprofessional position and two part-time birth-through-five program coordinators, who provide literacy programming for daycares and public library story hours two times a week, McNeff said.

“This grant will allow us to continue to support literacy work for children who are ages birth through five years old, which isn’t normally under the scope of public school,” McNeff added. “It will continue to allow us to provide reading intervention supports to our students who need extra help getting back to their reading grade level.”

Grant funding will begin July 1 to cover the 2020-2021 school year.

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