State Literacy Campaign Continues to Move Forward

June 18, 2015

Charleston, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), under the auspices of the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE), continues to gain momentum in improving reading proficiency across West Virginia. The WV Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade Level Reading, is the state’s effort to close the literacy achievement gap for West Virginia children ages birth through grade three.

The development of the WV Campaign for Grade Level Reading was a groundbreaking step in the WVBE’s journey to meet Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s challenge to assure all students are reading at grade level by the end of the third grade. Recently, Gov. Tomblin allocated $5.7 million to the campaign which has enabled county early literacy teams to have the resources necessary to advance efforts toward third grade literacy proficiency. 

“County early literacy teams have determined localized needs based on their county’s current data to focus on one or more components of the WV Campaign,” Clayton Burch, WVDE’s Chief Academic Officer for Teaching and Learning noted. “County teams have submitted plans that will increase current efforts to support areas such as school readiness,  school attendance, extended day and extended year learning opportunities, family engagement, and/or high-quality instruction and learning.” 

A network of support through the WVDE’s Office of Early Learning and Marshall University’s June Harless Center for Rural Education Research and Development promotes a coordinated infrastructure that assists counties and RESA’s with the implementation of the various components of the statewide campaign. 

“A foundational component of the WV Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade Level Reading is the fact that schools cannot close the literacy achievement gap alone,” said state Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano. “Partnering with national, state, and local agencies and organizations has resulted in a truly comprehensive approach to closing the literacy achievement gap and to supporting literacy achievement by grade three.” 

All 55 county early literacy teams will have a chance to share their successes at a two-day meeting on July 20-21, 2015 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston. The meeting also provides opportunities to learn more about the various community, regional, and state organizations and agencies that are available to potentially assist with closing the literacy achievement gap in our state.  

For additional information, contact Monica DellaMea at or the WVDE Communications Office at 304.558.2699.


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