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School district receives innovative literacy grant

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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 9:30 am

APISD administrators announced Monday night that the district would be the recipients of the Innovative Approach to Literacy Grant, which would introduce e-readers and other new approaches to literacy to students from 3rd to 5th grade.

The district worked with Education Service Center, Region 2 to receive the grant, which will be shared with four other school districts in the region.

“There are only 46 grants in the nation that the USDE (U.S. Department of Education) has given out,” curriculum director Denise Gray explained.

As part of the grant, the district will receive 30 iPads with headphone and other accessories, five e-readers with accessories, one teacher station per campus, and access to thousands of books and apps.

In addition, activities such as field trips, toddler reading times and family literacy nights will also be funded by the grant.

“We are getting a lot of bang for our buck,” Gray said. “We are looking forward to implementation.”

Superintendent Dr. Royce Avery added, “The Education Service Center has been a support to this district, and we are very, very excited that the service center wanted to collaborate with us.”

A representative from ESC Region 2 will stop by next month’s school board meeting to explain the grant in further detail.

In other business, the Board of Trustees approved the receipt and expenditures of funds received from a settlement with the School Health and Related Services program. Among the expenditures approved were updates to classroom technology.

“We felt that one of the biggest needs were updates to classroom teachers’ computers,” Avery explained. “Most machines are six to seven years old. We felt the need to update equipment with the latest technology.”

Updates to teachers’ computers include a virtual desktop capability where teachers can access their school desktops from anywhere in the world.

“I think this will be a morale booster for our teachers that says we’re all about making your job easier,” Avery said.

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