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$1M awarded to AL schools with significant reading gains

Officials from Pine Level Elementary in Autauga County collect their $20,000 check for student...
Officials from Pine Level Elementary in Autauga County collect their $20,000 check for student reading improvement. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Sep. 13, 2018 at 5:27 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Public school teachers in Alabama are known for reaching deep into their own pockets to fund classrooms and special initiatives, but Thursday those roles were reversed as the state put $20,000 checks in the hands of hard-working teachers.

It’s part of the “$1 Million For Reading Success” program. The Alabama Legislature set aside $1 million to be divided among 50 schools as incentive to improve the state’s reading scores. The selected schools reported the highest gains in reading determined by reading assessments at the beginning and end of the 2017-2018 school year.

Pine Level Elementary School Principal Christen Harri and her reading coach proudly accepted one of those checks.

“Education is hard these days,” Harri explained. “Students seem to be coming to us with less and less knowledge every year, and we are building up their vocabulary ability and we are excited to receive this money so we can continue our growth efforts.”

Ninety-nine percent of the third grade students at Pine Level Elementary School in Autauga County made gains in reading and 65 percent met their personal reading goals, which were set by the student and a teacher.

Harri says her teachers made intentional lesson plans to improve their scores.

Officials from Clanton Intermediate School in Chilton County collect their $20,000 check for...
Officials from Clanton Intermediate School in Chilton County collect their $20,000 check for student reading improvement. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
An official from Billingsley High School in Autauga County collects their $20,000 check for...
An official from Billingsley High School in Autauga County collects their $20,000 check for student reading improvement. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“We’ve used our best teaching strategies,” she stated. “Our teachers bring in activities, and new teaching styles to meet the needs of individual learners.”

Harri says they will put the money to good use by purchasing resources to further build vocabulary and long passage reading skills, areas where her students could grow according to the recent assessment results.

“It’s really important for students to be able to read by the time they are in 3rd grade,” the principal stated. “We’ve seen the data and research and know it’s so important. That’s our goal at Pine Level is to make sure they have that strong foundation in reading throughout the rest of their lives.”

Alabama’s Top 50 Schools for Reading Gains in 2017-2018

· Randolph Park Elementary School – Anniston City

· Attalla Elementary School – Attalla City

· Billingsley High School – Autauga County

· Pine Level Elementary School – Autauga County

· Fairhope Elementary School – Baldwin County

· Silverhill School – Baldwin County

· Spanish Fort Elementary School – Baldwin County

· Swift Elementary School – Baldwin County

· Phillips Academy – Birmingham City

· Appalachian School – Blount County

· Clanton Intermediate School – Chilton County

· Southern Choctaw Elementary School – Choctaw County

· Cleburne County Elementary School – Cleburne County

· Kinston School – Coffee County

· Hatton Elementary School – Colbert County

· Leighton Elementary School – Colbert County

· Pleasant Home School – Covington County

· WS Harlan Elementary School – Covington County

· Cold Springs Elementary School – Cullman County

· Parkside Elementary School – Cullman County

· Chestnut Grove Elementary School – Decatur City

· Fyffe High School – DeKalb County

· Henagar Junior High School – DeKalb County

· Sylvania School – DeKalb County

· Highlands Elementary School – Dothan City

· Berry Elementary School – Fayette County

· Geneva County Elementary School – Geneva County

· Samson Elementary School – Geneva County

· Slocomb Elementary School – Geneva County

· F.E. Burleson Elementary School – Hartselle City

· Abbeville Elementary School – Henry County

· Bluff Park Elementary School – Hoover City

· Deer Valley Elementary School – Hoover City

· Greystone Elementary School – Hoover City

· Mount Olive Elementary School – Jefferson County

· South Lamar School – Lamar County

· Central High School – Lauderdale County

· Underwood Elementary School – Lauderdale County

· Sweet Water High School – Marengo County

· Eichold-Mertz School of Math and Science – Mobile County

· Mountain Brook Elementary School – Mountain Brook City

· Crestline Elementary School – Mountain Brook City

· Pelham Oaks Elementary School – Pelham City

· Wedowee Elementary School – Randolph County

· Thurston T Nelson Elementary School – Scottsboro City

· Mt. Laurel Elementary School – Shelby County

· Springville Elementary School – St. Clair County

· Cahaba Elementary School – Trussville City

· Tuscaloosa Magnet School – Elementary - Tuscaloosa City

· Verner Elementary School – Tuscaloosa City

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