Maine Reading First
Maine Reading First General Information
The Reading First initiative is a competitive federal grant program that supports teachers and K-3 students in low performing schools through ongoing professional development and implementation of comprehensive reading programs. The program uses scientifically based reading research and proven instructional strategies and assessments to ensure that all children can read at or above grade level by the end of third grade.
Summer Literacy Institute
Reading First was created by the No Child Left Behind Act. Maine received a Reading First grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2003 that has allocated almost $21 million over six years.
The goal of Reading First is to instill proven methods of early reading instruction into classrooms by establishing a comprehensive program that is grounded in scientifically based reading research. Funding supports both statewide professional development for all K-3 regular educators and K-12 special educators, as well as competitive subgrants to eligible school systems for the implementation of comprehensive reading programs. Eligible school systems are those that meet the state’s definition of high poverty and low performance. The state definition is:
- Among the LEAs in the state with 61% or less of its grade four students meeting the standard (Exceeds and Meets Categories) on the fourth grade reading section of the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA).
- Meets one or more of the additional criteria listed below.
- Jurisdiction over an empowerment or enterprise community
- One or more schools identified for school improvement under Title 1
- 36% or more students counted for Title 1, Part A allocations
- 700 or more students counted for Title 1, Part A allocations
To date, 23 Maine School Systems have been receivers of Maine Reading First subgrants, impacting 25 schools.
Please note that there are no new Reading First funds available and applications are no longer being accepted.
Lee Anne Larsen
Reading First Director