Helping South Carolina Schools Put Reading First

Apr 9, 2002
Press Release
Education Department Now Accepting Applications for State Participation in Groundbreaking Reading Program
Rep. Joe Wilson, R-SC, today encouraged South Carolina education officials to apply for participation in the new Reading First initiative launched by President Bush as part of the No Child Left Behind education reforms, signed into law in January. “Reading is one of the most essential skills we can impart to our children, and it is the first step toward a successful future,” said Rep. Wilson. “We should understand it is our responsibility to make certain every child can read. This is why I am so pleased we can now offer additional funds toward reading instruction, available through the Reading First initiative. I encourage the education officials of South Carolina to take part in this important program.” U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige this week officially launched the ambitious program, which triples federal funding for reading instruction based on proven scientific research and calls for all U.S. students to learn to read by the third grade. According to the U.S. Department of Education, state applications will undergo a rigorous review by a panel of reading experts, selected by the Secretary of Education, the National Research Council, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. States with approved applications will receive funds under a formula beginning July 1, 2002. Once funded, states will open competitions for subgrants to eligible school districts. South Carolina Schools are slated to receive a significant boost of over $1.5 million in federal reading funds under the No Child Left Behind Act and the Reading First initiative. A list of estimated state grants is available at: The Reading First initiative’s website is available at: ###