Pelham Oaks receives $20,000 grant for reading gains

Published 3:56 pm Thursday, August 30, 2018

PELHAM – Pelham Oaks Elementary School is one of 50 schools statewide that will receive a portion of $1 million allotted by the Alabama Legislature for schools that showed reading growth during the 2017-2018 school year.

Each school will receive $20,000 from the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) as a way of recognizing and incentivizing teachers and students who have worked hard to achieve proficiency in reading by the third grade in last year’s Scantron Performance Series Reading Assessment, according to the ALSDE.

“We’re so very excited,” said Pelham Oaks Principal Deberah Miller. “I’m sure there will be stipulations as to how we can spend the money, but I can assure you that it will be put to great use.”

There will be a special recognition and awards ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 13, at the ALSDE after the September state board of education meeting. Gov. Kay Ivey, Alabama legislators and other dignitaries will be in attendance to congratulate all 50 schools.

Although Miller is taking last year’s third grade teachers with her to the awards ceremony on Sept. 13, she said the achievement is the result of schoolwide collaboration.

Miller said teachers spend time together developing units and talking about areas that need improvement.

“It takes everyone in the school working together,” she said. “All of the teachers collaborate to incorporate reading standards into all classes. That’s something that I think has really helped us. Collaboration is key.”

Other schools in Shelby County, Greystone Elementary and Mt Laurel Elementary, are also among the 50 schools receiving the $20,000 grant.