Alexander, Frist Applaud Supplemental Grant Funding to Expand Reading First Program

Senators Praise Teachers and School Districts for Achievement

Posted on September 29, 2006

U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today applauded the U.S. Department of Education’s $4.8 million supplemental grant to the Tennessee Department of Education under the Reading First program, which is part of the No Child Left Behind Act. This supplemental grant was made in recognition of Tennessee’s demonstrated increase in student achievement in reading over the past two years. The funding is for a period of one year, and must be subgranted to local school districts in Tennessee. "Tennessee has become a national leader in the Reading First program, and our students are reaping tremendous benefits as a result,” Frist said. “I salute all those who have worked so hard to make this program a success. These advancements in our children’s reading abilities would not have been possible without the dedication of students, parents, teachers and administrators.” “The Reading First program in Tennessee is a success due to the hard work of our parents, teachers and local school leaders,” Alexander said. “This additional funding was awarded in recognition of the significant improvements being made in Tennessee. I am pleased that this grant will help continue and expand successful reading programs to reach more of our students.” The grant funding is provided under the “Reading First Targeted Assistance Grants to States” program. The Tennessee Department of Education will use the award to provide additional money to local school districts to continue and expand their reading programs that use scientifically based reading research. Funded activities will include providing professional development for teachers in reading instruction, and acquiring and improving instructional materials to ensure that children learn how to read.