Arizona literacy programs get $11.6M from state education department

May 12, 2022, 1:00 PM
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Education on Thursday announced $11.6 million in grants to three programs designed to help kids improve their reading skills.

“Helping a child learn to read is … an obligation to our future that we must fulfill,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said in a press release.

“Throughout the pandemic, my administration has been committed to improving literacy resources and support for Arizona’s children and these investments will help further that work.”

The bulk of the funding, $10 million, will go toward supporting a Valley of the Sun United Way initiative titled Project CALL: Collaborating to Accelerate Literacy and Learning.

The United Way program, a joint effort with Read on Arizona and other community partners, will create literacy hubs to help reduce learning loss over the summer.

“This community-driven partnership will build and strengthen literacy resources across Arizona while increasing access to programs and services for families,” Carla Vargas Jasa, Valley of the Sun United Way president and CEO, said in the release.

Arizona PBS Educational Outreach is getting $961,000 for summer camps to help kids ages 4 and 5 from low-income communities get ready for kindergarten.

The third grant, $602,000, is going to Valley theater troupe Childsplay AZ for a program to help preschool teachers improve literacy and language development among their young students.

The grants are paid for with federal American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief funds.

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