The 2014-15 competitive grant from the OSDE will fund the expansion of the Literacy First Framework to more than 25 Oklahoma school districts.
In recognition of many years of documented improvement in academic achievement in Oklahoma schools, Catapult Learning has been awarded a $1.29 million grant from the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) for the 2014-15 school year. The grant awarded to Catapult Learning, the nation’s leading provider of instructional intervention services and professional development solutions, will fund the expansion of the organization’s nationally proven Literacy First Framework to more than 25 Oklahoma school districts.
The $1.29 million award—the largest of 16 grants—marks the second year in a row that Catapult Learning has received the OSDE competitive grant. Last year, the organization was awarded $445,000, which funded the implementation of Literacy First in 15 schools. Literacy First, a three-year instructional framework, focuses on the teaching and learning processes of reading and comprehension while building a strong culture of literacy throughout the entire school. This year’s grant will expand Literacy First to at least 10 new schools as well as fund second-year implementation in the 15 current schools.
The OSDE competitive grant has allowed Literacy First to expand its reach from elementary schools to include early childhood programs, middle schools, and high schools in Oklahoma. Stuart Udell, CEO of Catapult Learning says, “I am proud of our partnerships in Oklahoma, where our Literacy First Framework has resulted in fantastic outcomes for kids again and again, and I’m excited to expand our partnership next year to help even more schools reach their literacy goals.”
The Literacy First Framework has been used by Oklahoma elementary schools for more than 10 years. A large independent statewide study conducted by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation in 2010 found that Literacy First Phase IV elementary schools performed a significant 119 points higher than the state average on Oklahoma state reading tests. The study also found that teachers who had gone through Literacy First training demonstrated statistically significant growth in their depth of their understanding and knowledge of the reading instruction process.
Lanier Elementary School of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was one of the pioneer Literacy First schools in the state. In May 2014, every third-grade student at Lanier passed the state reading test. Principal Robert Morris cited Literacy First as a key factor in the success of his economically and ethnically diverse student population. “It was some of the best training we’ve ever had,” said Morris in an interview with KJRH television news reporter Patricia Santos.
The purpose of the OSDE competitive grant is to provide funding to programs and services that support the department’s goal of ensuring that all children graduating from an Oklahoma high school will be college, career, and citizen-ready by the year 2020. The statewide competition was open to non-profit, for-profit, or government entities, as well as local education agencies (LEAs) that support Oklahoma’s goal by providing services to a significant number of students, teachers, administrators, and/or other stakeholders.
Of the more than 40 applicants, Catapult Learning was one of only 16 groups awarded the competitive grant for the 2014-15 school year.