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PUBLISHED: 2:34 PM on Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Kake and Hydaburg get federal funds
Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program aims to improve students' reading skills
Three Alaska school districts have been awarded a total of $826,058 in No Child Left Behind Improving Literacy Through School Libraries grants to improve students' reading achievement, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced today. The school districts are: Lower Kuskokwim, $347,687; Hydaburg, $230,054; and Kake, $248,317.

"One of the cornerstones of No Child Left Behind is the assurance that all children will learn to read at grade level. School libraries play a critical role in this by providing children with books and other literacy resources so that they can strengthen their reading skills and achieve at high levels," said Secretary Spellings.

"Especially in Alaska where information centers can help bridge the great distances between our communities, Libraries are valuable resources," added Sen. Lisa Murkowski. "I hope that the many generations of Alaska children to come in Bethel, Hydaburg and Kake, will benefit from these grants."

The Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program provides funds to help schools improve their library media and address the reading and other literacy challenges of their students. Funds can be used to increase library holdings, improve schools' technological resources and capabilities, facilitate Internet links and other resource-sharing networks, enhance teachers' professional development opportunities and expand hours of access to library services.

The No Child Left Behind Act is the bipartisan landmark education reform law designed to change the culture of America's schools by closing the achievement gaps among groups of students, offering more flexibility to states, giving parents more options and teaching students using research-based, effective methods.

Under the law's strong accountability provisions, states must describe how they will close achievement gaps and make sure all students, including those who are disadvantaged, achieve academic proficiency.

More information about the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program is available on the Web at www.ed.gov/programs/lsl or by contacting lsl@ed.gov.


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