October 10, 2018

Castro Announces $500,000 Federal Grant to Increase Childhood Literacy in San Antonio

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and First Vice Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, today welcomed a $500,000 grant from the United States Department of Education through their Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program for the Education Service Center Region 20 in San Antonio. The grant is to support programs that increase childhood literacy activities in high-need communities. Congressman Castro has been a champion for literacy in San Antonio, helping organize book drives while in the Texas State Legislature:

“Improving childhood literacy is critical to ensure our next generation gets high-quality education that sets them up for success in life. I welcome this $500,000 United States Department of Education grant through the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program for San Antonio’s Education Service Center Region 20,” said Rep. Castro. “This grant, which will run for three years, will help increase availability of high quality books for children and support development of teachers and librarians. With this grant, Region 20 will help our kids get to where they want to go in life, and build out a more robust Infrastructure of Opportunity in our great city of San Antonio.”

Background: The grant is expected to run from October 1, 2018-September 30, 2021. Region 20 will receive $500,000 for the first year of the grant period. With this funding, Region 20 intends to increase the availability of high-quality reading materials for children from birth through 5th grade in the classroom, school libraries and at home. In addition, Region 20 will support professional development for teachers and librarians to enhance children’s reading experiences and provide guidance on how to incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning into reading experiences as well.

As a founding Pre-K Caucus chair in Congress, Congressman Castro has been a champion for fostering bipartisan and comprehensive solutions to examining early education, exploring best practice programming and developing policy recommends to improve and expand early education. Congressman Castro introduced the Pre-K for USA Act that would allow local education agencies and governments to apply directly to federal government for grants to develop and expand high-quality pre-K programs. Starting in 2010, Congressman Castro helped organize a book drive with Literacy San Antonio and SA Youth, which led to the creation of SA Reads, a project of literacy in San Antonio to successfully teach children to read by training and inspiring teachers to use science-based reading instructions.

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