Columbus and Bladen County schools are getting funds to help preschoolers learn how to read. A $4.2 million grant is especially directed towards at risk children and those from low income families, but it's designed to help all pre-schoolers.
"We are in a state of an emergency as far as teaching our students to read," curriculum director Kim Edwards said. "So we welcome this with open arms and put it to work heavily."
The grant money will be used to buy training videos and computer programs that teach students how to read. It also will be used to hire literacy coaches to work one-on-one with students. And it will pay for a six-week summer training program to teach students and train their teachers.
"It's really going to really enhance their growth further on and give them a good edge that other children that didn't get a chance to come to a program like this," preschool teacher Louise Bracero said.
This is actually a two-part grant. Some preschools in Columbus and Bladen Counties got the money to implement better reading techniques three years ago. When they did, students' reading scores doubled. This new wave of money will benefit students at the other preschools.