Panhandle Area Educational Consortium receives $2.17M Department of Education Innovative Approaches to Literacy award

Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC), headquartered in Chipley, Florida (FL), proposed the Read with Me! project to improve literacy skills for high-need children in grades PreK-8 in some of the most economically distressed rural communities in the Florida Panhandle. Read with Me! will seek to achieve the following objectives:  1) To increase family literacy activities, particularly reading aloud, that have a positive impact on the brain development of young children. 2) To increase the knowledge of parents about literacy and language acquisition, and how to support their children’s reading and writing skills development. 3) To improve literacy and language skills preschoolers so that they are better prepared to enter Kindergarten. 4) To improve language arts proficiency, increase motivation to read, and support STEM learning for participating students in grades K-8. 5) To increase book-to-student ratios at participating schools. 6) To distribute books to children who have limited access to book ownership. 7) To increase access to bilingual books for Spanish-speaking children. 8) To improve knowledge and increase literacy-related practices of teachers, library staff, and healthcare professionals through professional development.