Seventy-two school districts in Indiana have been awarded the Competitive Science of Reading Grant, with six local school districts among the recipients. These districts will share a total of $15 million, focusing on the science of reading principles in grades K-3. The grant amounts were based on K-3 enrollments, and the winning districts are Duneland, Griffith, Hanover Community, Lake Central, Hobart, and Munster.
The schools plan to use evidence-based practices aligned with the science of reading, which is a state-endorsed phonics-based curriculum. Successful applicants will be using practices such as deploying a full-time literacy instructional coach in each school, supporting teachers and administrators pursuing professional development training, increasing instructional time for struggling readers, and purchasing core and supplemental curricular materials aligned to science of reading.
Indiana’s investment in literacy and the science of reading has been made through a partnership between the state and the Lilly Endowment. This initiative aims to improve literacy rates across the state. After the 2021 third-grade state assessment showed that one in five students were unable to read proficiently, State Secretary of Education Katie Jenner emphasized the importance of learning to read by third grade. Jenner also announced a goal for Indiana to have 95% of third graders reading proficiently by 2027.