A Kennewick-based children’s literacy organization received a $3.8 million federal grant to work in 16 high poverty school districts across the country and in the Mid-Columbia.
That includes expanding to serve families in Connell, Othello, Pateros and Shelton in Washington state.
The National Children’s Reading Foundation, the parent to the Mid-Columbia chapter that already works in Tri-City schools, will use the two-year grant to help students but also help parents and educators better guide their children’s education.
“We know through our decades of work and research that parents and caregivers are a child’s first and most influential teachers,” Rick Donahoe, the foundation’s grant director, said in a release.
The organization’s Tri-City chapter currently provides adult volunteers through its Team Read initiative to read with students who need to improve their literacy.
It also provides a summer reading program called Read Up and READY! for Kindergarten, which provides training to parents and caregivers so they can better prepare kids for school.
The foundation will seek to expand the summer reading and kindergarten preparation programs to its new districts in 11 different states, said outreach coordinator Salem Reiboldt.
The grant also will pay to test and evaluate an early learning app for tablet computers and educational evaluation of 4-year-olds in coordination with Washington State University.
“We’re just so happy we get to do this work,” Reiboldt said.