Lyon County receives literacy windfall |

Lyon County receives literacy windfall

Teri Vance

Officials in the Lyon County School District are busy figuring exactly out how to use a $4.2 million grant from the State Department of Education.

“This is the largest grant we’ve ever gotten,” said Superintendent Caroline McIntosh. “It’s huge. We’re pretty excited.”

Lyon County was one of four districts to receive grants from the state, which was one of only six states to receive the $28 million Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant.

“These funds are extremely competitive,” says a press release from the Nevada Department of Education. “While the NDE would have liked to have the resources to fund each district with the amounts they requested, there is a finite set of resources that must be awarded in keeping with the criteria against which the applications were scored.”

Districts were chosen based on applications submitted to the department.

“We are so honored,” McIntosh said. “You can see what a windfall this is for Lyon County.”

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The district will receive $2.1 million this year and the same amount next year to be used for literacy programs.

Although the district has faced record budget shortfalls, the money cannot be used to alleviate cuts, such as last week’s school board decision to combine the Silver Stage elementary and middle schools.

“It’s specifically targeted for literacy,” McIntosh said. “A lot of it will be used for professional development for our teachers and for resources as we align with the Common Core State Standards.”

She said the grant will help the district boost student literacy, which is the foundation of all learning.

“To be college- and career-ready, every student needs to have a strong literacy background,” McIntosh said. “Even in mathematics, it’s problem-solving. You have to be able to understand the question before the mathematical algorithms are applied.”

McIntosh sent an email Monday morning to all staff in the district to notify them of the award.

“Congratulations to Curriculum Director Claudia Fadness and Grant Coordinator Lise Coudriet for their amazing efforts in writing this extensive and complicated grant application,” she said.

The budget for the first phase will be to apply 5 percent to administration, 15 percent on children from birth to age 5, 40 percent in the elementary school, 20 percent at the middle school level, and 29 percent at the high school.

Award amounts throughout the state:

Lyon County School District: $4.2 million

Douglas County School District: $3.1 million

Washoe County School District: $4.2 million

Clark County School District: $16.5 million