HRDC’s Head Start Program receives “Striving Readers” funding for new literacy initiative for pre-schoolers

Juneau Announces Awardees of $7.6 Million Striving Readers Grant

Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 10:16 am

Montana One of Six States to Receive Grant for Improving Literacy

Helena, MT – Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced the Montana schools who will receive $7.6 million in federal grant funding for the 2011-2012 school year to advance literacy skills, reading and writing for students from early childhood through grade 12. This competitive grant was awarded to only six states and will be renewed for the 2012-2013 school year. More than 10,000 students will benefit from the Striving Readers grant.

Superintendent Juneau said, “Reading and writing are vital skills every child must have for their future academic and economic success. This grant will allow Montana to build on successful programs and seek out innovative strategies to improve literacy for children of all ages.”

The goal of The Montana Striving Reader’s Project is to dramatically improve literacy achievement for all students and to provide support systems for districts, special education preschools and Head Start programs. Twenty-eight districts and eight established preschool and Head Start Programs applied for the grant. The Office of Public Instruction is awarding 10 grants to school districts, which includes 29 schools, and five grants to Head Start and preschool programs throughout the state.

Juneau continued, “We know that students who struggle with reading are at a higher risk of dropping out of school. This grant is going to provide us with another tool to ensure Montana students are achieving at high levels and earning their high school diploma.”

The Office of Public Instruction is using this grant to improve school readiness and success from early childhood through grade 12 in the area of language and literacy development with an emphasis in closing the achievement gaps among all student groups including low-income students, students with disabilities, American Indian students and limited-English proficient students.

Additionally, the OPI will work with grantees to decrease the percentage of students who drop out of high school and implement a data-driven decision-making process to collect, analyze, and use high-quality data to assess the effectiveness of literacy programs.


The HRDC Human Resource Development Council (Gallatin Gateway, Bozeman, Livingston, Belgrade) Head Start Program will receive $167,018.

More information on the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program: