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RCPS awarded $11.5M literacy grant
Georgia Department of Education logo, L4GA logoConyers, Ga. – Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) was recently awarded $11.5 million over five years in the second round of the Georgia Department of Education's Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading in Georgia (L4GA) grant. The goal of L4GA is to improve student literacy. RCPS was one of 23 districts in the state selected for the L4GA grants, which total $179 million state-wide over five years.

Eleven RCPS schools and all RCPS Early Learning (Pre-K) will participate in programs and resources funded by this round of the L4GA grant. The grant will be used to provide professional development and literacy support for teachers, books for classrooms and media centers, instructional technology, Response to Intervention (RTI), parent education and workshops, updated curriculum and more. The schools participating are C.J. Hicks Elementary, Flat Shoals Elementary, Hightower Trail Elementary, Honey Creek Elementary, Peek's Chapel Elementary, Pine Street Elementary, Shoal Creek Elementary, Conyers Middle, Memorial Middle, Rockdale County High and Salem High.

RCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Oatts said, “I commend the extraordinary interdepartmental collaboration among our staff that resulted in our district’s being awarded the L4GA literacy grant. RCPS is committed to accelerating literacy gains through the implementation of high impact literacy strategies within an overall balanced literacy framework. The tremendous resources this literacy grant will afford our district aligns optimally with our strategic priorities.”
“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.”
RCPS was also among the districts selected in the first round of literacy grants. 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 – including RCPS – 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. 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.