June 2020 – The Georgia Department of Education awarded a second round of Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia (L4GA) grants to 23 school districts. The goal of L4GA is to improve student literacy learning. The grants awarded total $22,101,554.
L4GA 2019 Grantees: Burke County Schools, Butts County Schools, Charlton County Schools, Clayton County Schools, Cook County Schools, Elbert County Schools, GaDOE State Schools, Glascock County Schools, Grady County SchoolsHaralson County Schools, Lanier County Schools, Liberty County Schools, Newton County Schools, Paulding County Schools, Pike County Schools, Pulaski County Schools, Rockdale County Schools, Terrell County Schools, Toombs County Schools, Treutlen County Schools, Troup County Schools, Union County Schools, Vidalia City Schools
“School districts selected for the first round of L4GA funding made great strides in student literacy learning," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I'm eager to see the progress made by our new grant recipients in the coming years. Making sure students are reading on grade-level remains mission-critical, top-priority work for the Georgia Department of Education and we continue to seek all possible opportunities to support that work at the school and district level."
Introduced in 2016, L4GA is a unique approach to improving literacy that pairs community-driven action with research-proven instruction. In its first round, funded by a federal Striving Readers grant of $61.5 million, 38 school districts (map below) partnered with early learning and care providers as well as community organizations to implement community efforts and improve classroom instruction. By working together, schools, early learning providers and caretakers, and community leaders are moving the needle on literacy – in 2019, third-grade students showed significant gains in English Language Arts and grade-level reading.
Georgia was awarded a total of $179,174,766 over five years to continue the L4GA initiative, which aims to improve literacy outcomes for students from birth through grade 12 (Governor's Office press release here). Ninety-five percent of that amount is being competitively awarded to local school districts and their community partners. The awards take into account the poverty level of a community, the percentage of students reading below grade level, the recent rate of growth in the number of students reading above grade level, and whether a school is identified for support from the Department of Education's School Improvement team.
The Department will run another grant competition in late 2020 to award additional funds. Information will be released to school districts when available.
All awarded districts have community-school partnerships with local organizations, the Regional Education Service Agencies, and teacher preparation programs to collectively improve literacy outcomes. Georgia was awarded the funds from the United States Department of Education based on Georgia's Literacy for Learning, Living and Leading Approved Grant.
A crucial part of our L4GA Grant is evaluation. Teams from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University will be collecting data from L4GA districts to 1) document positive practices and 2) gauge the overall impact of the L4GA Project. Districts must collect student
performance and achievement data using the schedule found here.