Newport Independent Schools get $400,000 state grant to improve reading skills

Posted at 12:07 PM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 12:08:57-04

NEWPORT - The Newport Independent Schools are getting a $400,000 Read to Achieve Grant from the Kentucky Department of Education, according to the district.

Newport Primary School, which serves kindergarten to second grade, and Newport Intermediate School, which serves third grade, will each receive $50,000 a year over the next four years.

Read to Achieve programs are designed to provide struggling young students with short-term, intensive instruction in reading skills, according to Paul Baker, grant writer for the district.

Newport Intermediate School teacher Donna Reinhart applauds the program. She has taught about 35 students a year through a previous grant. 

"The students often feel more comfortable to take risks in the small group setting," Reinhart said. "Not only do their reading skills increase, but also the level of confidence becomes greater.  I love seeing the joy on my students' faces as they realize their competency in reading."

Newport Schools Superintendent Kelly Middleton said the grant-writing team of Baker and Diane Hatfield have attracted an estimated $10 million in grants over the last few years for the district.

"We always talk here at Newport about going the extra mile for our kids," Middleton said. "When your grant writers are bringing in $10 million, almost all of which goes to classroom and after school programs, we know we are focused on providing the best learning environment possible for our students, teachers, staff and community."