Wednesday, November 24, 1999

72 elementary schools win grants

Enquirer Contributor

        Seventy-two elementary schools in 26 Southwest Ohio districts will receive grants totaling more than $3.6 million from Gov. Bob Taft's OhioReads program.

  School districts in five Southwest Ohio counties received more than $3.6 million in grants from the OhioReads program. How the money was divided:
  Hamilton County
  Cincinnati, $756,993
  Deer Park, $29,676
  Finneytown, $16,527
  Forest Hills, $102,700
  Mount Healthy, $240,000
  Northwest, $173,630
  Norwood, $47,960
  Princeton, $126,725
  St. Bernard, $60,000
  Sycamore, $165,666
  Winton Woods, $240,000
  Total: $1,959,877

  Butler County
  Hamilton, $600,000
  Lakota, $120,000
  Middletown/Monroe, $50,000
  Ross, $33,700
  Total: $803,700

  Clermont County
  Bethel-Tate, $60,000
  Clermont Northeastern, $60,000
  Felicity-Franklin, $60,000
  Goshen, $30,000
  West Clermont, $60,000
  Williamsburg, $60,000
  Total: $330,000
  Warren County
  Carlisle, $59,870
  Kings, $178,700
  Little Miami, $60,000
  Wayne, $60,000
  Total: $358,570

Source: Ohio Department of Education
        Among the big winners were the Cincinnati Public Schools, where 14 elementary schools will split $756,993, and the Hamilton City Schools, where 10 schools each received $60,000.

        They were among 740 public elementary schools that will receive a total of $39.9 million from the OhioReads Council. Altogether, 1,271 schools applied for grants totaling $67.7 million.

        The money will help schools train reading volunteers, hire program coordinators and pay for books and other teaching materials.

        By design, 60 percent of the grants went to urban or rural schools, with 40 percent going to suburban schools, said Dottie Howe of the Ohio Department of Education.

        “We were trying to spread it (money) out across the state but also hitting the neediest districts,” Ms. Howe said. “The applications were judged on how well the programs proposed to meet the need to increase reading at grade level.”

        In Cincinnati the money will be used to replicate Oyler's successful HOSTS — Help One Student To Succeed — tutoring/mentoring program in some schools, and to begin the Failure Free Reading program at others, said Kevin Corrigan, grants manager for the Cincinnati Public Schools.

        “Schools are already doing training for the programs. They were holding their breath, hoping they would get the grants,” Mr. Corrigan said. “We hope to start the programs after the holiday break.”

        In Hamilton, money will be used to begin after-school volunteer tutor programs in some buildings, and initiate the Accelerated Reader or Failure Free reading programs in others, said Joyce Schueler, reading supervisor for the district's Title I office.

        “Everyone is really excited. This was a cooperative effort between principals, teachers and the Title I office,” Ms. Schueler said. “We think it will boost reading scores and enable more students to pass the fourth-grade reading (proficiency) test.”

        Other Ohio school districts receiving sizable grants were Columbus, with $1.02 million; Cleveland, $772,673; Youngstown, $659,539; and Dayton, $410,818.        

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