School system awarded $1.4 million grant

Published 10:12 pm Friday, May 25, 2018

Last week, the Troup County School Board celebrated winning the Literacy for Learning, Living and Leading Grant during its regular meeting.

The grant funds evidence based practices to improve learning.

Troup County was one of 38 districts who were approved to receive the grant during the Georgia Department of Education May board meeting.

The grant award was for a total of $1,463,273 over three years. It will provide funding for needs in the LaGrange zone.

“We had some student needs, and those included extended learning times, summer school, after school tutoring and that type of thing,” said Kim White, director of elementary education.

“We need materials and supplies. We are looking for materials and books and things to do to create literacy across the content area. We also needed some professional learning because we know in daycare centers, typically the workers rotate in and out. They don’t know a whole lot about early learning, so we wanted to be able to provide some professional learning for them.”

The program that the grant funds will aim to establish community partnerships with Happy Days Early Learning Center, LaGrange College Connection and Community Connection in addition to schools in the zone.

“In the daycare center that we partner with is Happy Days Early Learning Center, and they feed directly into Franklin Forest, Ethel Kight and Hollis Hand [elementary schools],” White said. “So, the grant was built on a feeder pattern, and that is who we chose.”

Gardner Newman Middle School and LaGrange High School will also be included in the program, and approximately 42 percent of the grant funding to Troup County is marked for those schools — with $304,231 for middle school and $310,371 for high school over a three-year period.

“We wanted to create a system wide culture of literacy that focused students and parents and teachers on setting goals for kids and monitoring whether we were meeting those goals or not,” White said. “The idea is we really want kids to buy into their own literacy and set their own goals and standards for themselves. Goal two was to use our literacy data to differentiate instruction and use research based best practices to deliver literacy instruction.”

Other goals included providing professional learning for teachers with an emphasis on teaching literacy in all content areas and creating literacy-based professional learning communities within each school and at the district level. Parent education, trauma informed care, a summer literacy program, GEDs and mental health were also listed as elements of the grant.