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Memphis-Shelby County Schools accepts $1.1 million grant to help improve early literacy

The grant, given by the Tennessee Department of Education, is designed to give teachers the tools they need to better teach reading to students.
Credit: WATN

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis-Shelby County School Board voted Tuesday to accept a $1.1 million state grant designed to improve early literacy education. 

The grant, provided by the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE), is part of the state's Reading 360° program, which started in the 2021-2022 school year from federal COVID-19 relief funds. 

Reading 360° provides optional grants and resources to help more Tennessee students develop strong phonics-based reading skills by supporting districts, teachers, and families, TDOE said. 

MSCS will work with TDOE to schedule a week-long training seminar for elementary school teachers.

MSCS expects the program to improve teachers' ability to teach effective foundational literacy instruction and increase students' literacy skills as measured by formative and summative assessments.

According to district data, out of 8,153 second-graders in 2021-2022, 56% finished the school year reading below grade level. 

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