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Office of Governor Gary Locke
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Reading Corps grants on the way to many elementary schools

OLYMPIA - Gov. Gary Locke and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson announced today that grants for boosting reading skills among elementary school students have been awarded to 190 schools in all parts of the state.

Locke called the grant awards an exciting step forward. "This is great news for students throughout the state of Washington who need intensive tutoring to become strong readers," Locke said. "Leaders at these schools are to be commended for stepping up to the challenge of designing their own local programs and reaching out to their communities for support. The milestone we reach today is a signal it's time for volunteers from every segment of the community to come forward and offer to help tutor a child in reading," Locke added.

Individuals or organizations interested in participating can call their local school district or a statewide toll-free hotline at 1-800-323-2550.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, which administers the program, has awarded funding for 25 summer programs. The remaining schools will conduct reading programs during the school year. Grant amounts vary, but are limited to a maximum of $350 for each participating student.

Bergeson said: "This is the beginning of a wonderful 'win-win' situation for students as well as for the citizens of Washington state. Students will not only get the foundation skills they need in reading, they will also know that someone in the community cares about their success."

The Washington Reading Corps, proposed by the governor and state superintendent and approved by the Legislature this year, will provide more than $8 million to recruit up to 8,000 volunteers and train both teachers and volunteers to provide at least 27,000 struggling readers with intensive extra tutoring in reading.

The full list of schools receiving grants for the Washington Reading Corps is available on the Internet Web site at

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