Research has shown that children who are not reading fluently at grade level before the end of third grade do not make the necessary gains for academic success. Seventy-seven percent of fourth grade students did not read proficiently in Louisiana in 2014. This is a critical issue in Louisiana education. Increasing the number of reading specialists is an excellent way to work towards a solution. For teachers who want to become reading specialists, there are funds available through TEACH grant to help teachers pay for an advanced degree, such as an online M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction: Reading & Literacy.
Why does early reading proficiently matter?
Studies have shown that there is a correlation between poverty, literacy rates, and failure to graduate from high school. Overall, 22 percent of children who have lived in poverty do not graduate from high school. This is about three times greater than the rate for children with no family poverty experience. When students read proficiently by third grade, the poverty cycle may be broken. Children who work closely with reading specialists in one-on-one or small group situations increase their literacy development significantly. Teachers who are enrolled in a master’s degree in reading program are able to improve reading ability of their current students because they bring new solutions to their classrooms as they learn.
What is the TEACH Grant?
Grants are a form of financial aid, based on high-need areas of teaching, which you do not have to repay. The TEACH Grant was instituted by the U.S. Department of Education to encourage highly qualified teachers to serve low income schools in high-need subject areas with positions such as reading specialists. There are requirements to qualify for the grant and separate requirements to keep it. Highly qualified teachers who want a master’s degree in reading can receive a TEACH Grant to help them achieve their goals and become reading specialists in low income schools.
Becoming a reading specialist in Louisiana can be very fulfilling for teachers because there is such a great need to help these students. Every child in Louisiana deserves to a well-educated teacher who has a master's degree in reading & literacy. A TEACH Grant can help make this dream possible not only for you but also for children in Louisiana just waiting to become better readers.
Learn more about the LSUS online M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction: Reading & Literacy program.
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