Superintendent Paine Announces More Than $350,000 in Grants for West Virginia Literacy Campaign

July 27, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – To further enhance the state’s Comprehensive Third Grade Literacy Initiative, the West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) Office of Early Learning will grant more than $350,000 to state and local partners to expand local-level support for the WV Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. There were three levels of awards: up to $5,000, up to $25,000, and up to $50,000, with a total distribution of more than $350,000.

The following partners will receive funding as a result of the Campaign Partner Grants competition:

  • Read Aloud West Virginia
  • Save the Children
  • West Virginia Imagination Library
  • Shepherd University
  • Western Counties Regional Library System (to benefit the “Facing Hunger” food banks, as well as 31 public libraries in Mason, Putnam, Cabell, Wayne, Mingo, Logan, & Lincoln counties)
  • Wirt County Prevention Coalition
  • Tucker County Family Resource Network (to benefit Tucker, Randolph, & Barbour Co. public libraries)
  • Weirton Bread Basket Bob Burdette Center & East End Family Resource Network (Kanawha Co.)

Partners will receive funding in the coming weeks to be used for school year 2017-18.

“Research shows the importance of ensuring all students read on grade-level by the end of the third grade in order to increase the likelihood of later achievement in school and in life,” said Dr. Steven Paine, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools.

“With continued support from the West Virginia Governor’s office, the West Virginia Legislature and the State Board of Education, the Department’s efforts to support early literacy initiatives and programs at the local level are in full swing in all 55 West Virginia counties. The Campaign Partner Grants Competition serves as an additional avenue through which collaboration and services can be provided to benefit the children and families of West Virginia as we collectively strive to close the critical third-grade literacy achievement gap.”

Grant proposals had to support data-driven programs, initiatives or efforts applicable to counties’ identified needs and goals associated with their approved Early Literacy Action Plans submitted to the WVDE Office of Early Learning. Each selected grant proposal was directly connected to one or more components of the WV Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, including:

  • school readiness,
  • attendance,
  • extended learning opportunities, and/or
  • high-quality classroom instruction.

The WV Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade-Level Reading began as a result of legislation passed in 2014, which led to the passage of State Board of Education policy 2512 that focuses on a transformative system of support for early literacy, ages birth through third grade. The campaign serves as West Virginia’s initiative to close the literacy achievement gap by the end of the third grade year.

To learn more about the Leaders of Literacy campaign, visit:

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