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Washington Reading Corps Sites Announced
53 districts and community-based organizations to receive reading tutors from AmeriCorps

OLYMPIA — June 25, 2014 — Helping young students struggling to read will become a little easier thanks to a grant Washington state recently received.

The federal grant, totaling $1.86 million for three years coupled with funding from the state legislature, will bring 150 Washington Reading Corps members into 53 Washington school districts and community-based organizations to provide tutoring in reading for 6,000 elementary-school students.

The grant was made possible by a $950,000 proviso passed by the state Legislature in 2014. The proviso provides support for the Washington Reading Corps.

“The Washington Reading Corps program is a proven winner,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “The group tutoring that these grants will provide will give students the additional help they may need. And because reading is so necessary in our lives, making sure all students know how to read, and read well, is a high priority.”

The Reading Corps is part of the Washington Service Corps, which is administered by the state Employment Security Department (ESD) using funding from the federal AmeriCorps program.

Districts were chosen based on the plan for member utilization and program design, family involvement, volunteer recruitment, the number of students receiving free and reduced-price lunches, as well as the number of migrant/bilingual students.

Two agencies – the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and ESD – were awarded the grant together and will share responsibilities. The agencies will train Reading Corps members in the fall of 2014 and will monitor the members’ success with students.

The Washington Reading Corps program was first funded by the state Legislature in 1998. Washington was the first state in the country to partner its state education agency (OSPI) with the state’s Commission for National and Community Service (through the Office of Financial Management) and National Service (through the Washington Service Corps).

The Washington Reading Corps grants are part of a $15.5 million grant awarded to the state by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

According to the CNCS, our national AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually in nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations at 25,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.

Since 1994, more than 830,000 Americans have provided more than 1 billion hours of service addressing pressing challenges from poverty and hunger to disasters and the high-school dropout crisis.

A total of 1,180 AmeriCorps members will be placed in Washington state in 2014.

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About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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CONTACT:
Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015

 

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