COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County Schools was recently awarded more than $1.5 million in funds from the Georgia Department of Education as part of the Literacy for Learning, Living and Leading in Georgia (L4GA) grant program.
Newton County was one of only 23 districts across the state to receive funding in the second round of the grant program. Overall, the Georgia Department of Education awarded more than $22 million to various school systems.
“School districts selected for the first round of L4GA funding made great strides in student literacy learning,” State 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.”
NCSS Grants Coordinator Tiffany Merriweather said the school system received $1,575,496 as a first-year award and would receive a total of $7,877,486 over the next five years.
“L4GA supports a two-pronged approach to improving literacy outcomes, community-driven action with research-proven instruction,” Merriweather said. “As part of this overall strategy, funds will be used for literacy initiatives that support students from birth to 12th grade. Funding allocations will include books, kits, technology, supplies, literacy programs, assessments, software, and professional development.
Merriweather said the L4GA grant program would serve schools with the highest need, including Live Oak Elementary, Middle Ridge Elementary, Porterdale Elementary and South Salem Elementary; Cousins Middle and Indian Creek Middle; and Newton High School.
“In addition to our seven schools, we received a budget for birth to age five to support early literacy initiatives in the community, four early learning centers, and our seven pre-kindergarten programs in the Newton High feeder pattern,” Merriweather said.
“We’re thrilled to receive this grant, which enhances our efforts to ensure all students are reading at or above grade level by the time they complete third grade,” Newton County Schools Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey said. “This grant and the resources afforded to our school system as a result of receiving it will go a long way in our efforts to meet this goal.”