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Jun 14

Greenbush to lead literacy projects totaling $6.4 million

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 2:13 PM by Doug Graham

(Girard, Kan.) — Families attending 16 school districts across the state will soon benefit from new grant-funded projects aimed at advancing the reading and writing skills of learners from birth through 12th grade.

Greenbush - The Southeast Kansas Education Service Center will manage two separate grants totaling more than $6.4 million from the Literacy Network of Kansas (LiNK), a project of the U.S. Department of Education’s Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy program. Greenbush worked with two groups of districts to develop the grant proposals, each worth $3.2 million.

“We’re thrilled to work with these outstanding districts and help them reach the goals they set at the local level,” said Monica Murnan, project director with Greenbush. “We’re all about bringing districts together to achieve more, and the end result of this collaboration will be improved literacy through great instruction.”

Each district within each consortium developed a literacy plan that will support students and their families in a variety of ways, based upon a study of local needs. In some districts, community agencies will provide free books and family reading activities, while others will work with preschool children to prepare for kindergarten.

A key component of both Greenbush consortia is instructional coaching.

“The purpose of this project is really to invest in local teachers–to give them the opportunity to hone their skills even further,” said Monica Murnan, project director with Greenbush. “One way we can do that is to ensure they have an instructional coach they can count on to give them feedback, show them something new, or help them work through a challenge.”

Throughout the three-year grant cycle, Greenbush will work with the state LiNK team to develop a network of literacy resources for educators and families. These resources will impact reading and writing at the state, regional and community levels, and will provide professional learning opportunities for teachers and families.

Eight grantees were selected from a competitive application process, according to the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). Kansas applied for the grant with the assistance of the KU Center on Research and Learning in July 2017, and received the $27 million federal grant–one of the largest competitive grants the agency has ever received–in October 2017.

KSDE invited districts/consortia meeting specific criteria to apply for funds from the grant. Districts had to serve at least 5,000 students in order to apply individually. Districts that serve fewer than 5,000 students could apply as part of a consortium.

Each of the eight awardees will receive more than $3.2 million for literacy support during a three-year period. The eight selected–four individual districts and four consortia–represent a total of 32 Kansas school districts and 88,000 children; Greenbush will provide services to fully half of the districts receiving grant funds.

Districts participating in Greenbush-managed consortia include the following:

  • USD 202 Turner
  • USD 247 Cherokee
  • USD 250 Pittsburg
  • USD 257 Iola
  • USD 288 Central Heights
  • USD 365 Garnett
  • USD 366 Woodson County
  • USD 367 Osawatomie
  • USD 404 Riverton
  • USD 415 Hiawatha
  • USD 430 South Brown County
  • USD 434 Santa Fe Trail
  • USD 447 Cherryvale
  • USD 461 Neodesha
  • USD 493 Columbus
  • USD 506 Labette County

KSDE leaders say LiNK will help schools meet the Kansas State Board of Education’s vision for education: Kansas leads the world in the success of each student.

Greenbush – The Southeast Kansas Education Service Center serves learners of all ages through partnerships with schools, communities, and agencies statewide. Underlying its diverse range of services and supports is one central mission: to ensure equal educational opportunities for all.

For more information, contact Monica Murnan at 620.724.6281 or by email