HARRISBURG, Pa., June 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera presented the Innovation Incentive Awards to seven Pennsylvania School Districts Wednesday night during the Pennsylvania Literacy Conference, put on by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Keystones to Opportunity Grant. Rivera, who has been traveling across the state as part of Governor Wolf's "Schools That Teach" tour, congratulated the winning districts on their achievements.
"There is no one-size-fits-all approach to education, and while visiting schools around the commonwealth, I've seen the unique qualities that make each school in each district special," Rivera said. "The school districts being recognized have demonstrated an ability to stand out from the crowd, using teaching techniques and curriculum that serve their students and educators. I congratulate these districts on their achievements and applaud them for serving as models for schools throughout Pennsylvania."
The Keystones to Opportunity (KtO) Innovation Incentive Awards program is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating innovation in literacy among Pennsylvania's Striving Readers: Keystones to Opportunity sub-grantees. Awards were presented to KtO districts that implemented best practices, took an innovative approach to teaching literacy and fostered a culture of reading, writing, listening and speaking excellence in Pennsylvania.
Winning school districts:
Bradford Area School District (McKean County) won the Outstanding Partnerships: Engaging the Community in Literacy Achievement Award, which is presented to KtO districts that create research-based innovative literacy practices utilizing mentoring and volunteer programs, parent and family engagement, and local businesses and not-for-profit organizations to increase literacy achievement for students. Curwensville Area School District (Clearfield County) won second place.
Southern Huntingdon County School District (Huntingdon County) won the Accelerating Literacy Achievement Award, which is given to a KtO district demonstrating actual gains in student achievement in reading, writing, listening and speaking, while also closing the achievement gap by improving instruction and achievement for historically underperforming students.
Greencastle-Antrim School District (Franklin County) and Interboro School District (Delaware County) won the Leading in Literacy Award, an award presented to KtO districts showing exceptional capacity in growing, strengthening and sustaining literacy leadership that empowers all stakeholders. Milton Area School District (Northumberland and Union counties) won second place.
Derry Area School District (Westmoreland County) prevailed in the Local Comprehensive Literacy Plan: Implementing the Essential Elements of Literacy category. The district received an award recognizing the successful implementation of its Local Comprehensive Literacy Plan by integrating the Six Essential Elements of Literacy (Coherent, Articulated Literacy Program; Oral Language; Assessment; Engagement and Resiliency; Differentiation; and Disciplinary Literacy) in a manner that has a direct impact on student achievement.
Only KtO sub-grantees were eligible for the awards. Interested KtO districts were required to submit a comprehensive application for consideration.
The Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program is a federal program aimed at improving literacy outcomes for students from birth through grade 12. Pennsylvania is one of six states to be awarded the competitive federal dollars. The Pennsylvania initiative, Keystones to Opportunity (KtO), was available to all Local Education Agencies (LEAs) throughout the state, and LEAs were chosen to receive funding based upon a needs assessment and literacy plan. Fifty-three school districts in Pennsylvania received funding.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Reigelman, 717-783-9802.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education