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Children’s Policy Council awarded $20,000 grant for reading skills programs in Perry County

The Perry County Children’s Policy Council (Perry County CPC) is extremely honored, excited, and pleased to announce that it was awarded a twenty-thousand- dollar grant to participate in Governor Ivey’s Alabama Campaign for Grade-Level Reading project. According to the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE), the “Alabama Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is part of Governor Ivey’s Strong Start Strong Finish initiative that seeks to work through local Children’s Policy Councils to improve reading proficiency using learning out-of-theclassroom methods. The program is built around five pillars Birth to 8 systems, Family Engagement, Health, and Wellness, Learning Outside of the Classroom, and supports for struggling readers, children with special needs, and English Language Learners.” ADECE further explains that “The ability to read on grade level sets Alabama’s children on the path to success. One of the most important predictors of a child’s academic and future success is the ability to read by the end of the third grade. School success depends upon being a strong reader.”

Around early spring 2022, prior to applying for the grant, the Perry County CPC had to assemble a team of interested entities, complete a UAB Data Prioritization tool, and develop a literacy plan. On November 4, 2022, Mrs. Liletta Jenkins, the State CPC manager Alabama Department of Early Childhood, notified the Perry County CPC that the funds were in the mail.

The Perry County CPC is now set to start tackling the issue of Perry County literacy deficits by focusing on at least three pillars/priorities: 1.) family engagement, high-quality birth to age eight systems and support for children with special needs (special education, English Language Learners and struggling readers).

We are especially appreciative to Governor Kay Ivey, Mrs. Liletta Jenkins and the staff of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, and the entire Perry County CPC for collaborating to procure the grant for the children of Perry County.