America Reads MS uses grant to improve student reading
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MPB Staff

One-on-one reading tutoring could be available to more Mississippi students. MPB's Alexis Ware reports new grant funding will improve the service at 30 elementary schools statewide.

America Reads-Mississippi is receiving a one million dollar federal grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The grant will be used to continue reading tutoring services at elementary schools across the state. America Reads tutors work with students in kindergarten through 3rd grade who read below grade level. 

Ronjanett Taylor is the Director of America Reads- Mississippi.

"Our desire is to see them first of all proficient at the grade level that they're in and then beyond that be able to think critically about their education to be able to read independently and allow that reading to help them be successful in their future years of education."

Taylor says about half of the schools that participate in the program are on the State Department of Education's priority list for needing support. 

Tito Lanier is the Principal of Oak Park Elementary School in Laurel. He says enhancing reading skills helps students' overall academic achievement. 

"When students gain confidence in one area it makes the whole child and reading is fundamental. It's imperative that you understand reading and understand the comprehension level of reading so you can bridge the gap in other subjects." 

Lanier says students also gain a positive outlook of community service through the program.