The Barrow County School System is a 2021 recipient of the Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading (L4GA) grant from the Georgia Department of Education. The L4GA initiative aims to improve literacy outcomes for children from birth through grade 12.
The Barrow County School System will receive $1,074,696 to implement its innovative literacy plan. The following schools will participate in the program: Auburn and Statham Elementary, Bear Creek, Westside and Russell Middle Schools, and Winder-Barrow High School. This initiative will support systemic improvement in literacy by building on the strengths of the current literacy program as it pairs community-driven action with research-proven instruction.
Grant funds will provide children from birth through 12th-grade access to text, both within the classroom and outside the classroom. The program will also ensure that teachers are adept at using evidence-based instructional practices and have access to evidence-based instructional materials. Funds will also support the purchase of instructional materials, professional learning, implementation of summer learning programs, and the hiring of reading interventionists or literacy coaches at the grant-funded schools.
The L4GA grant will focus on improving literacy outcomes for all children in Barrow County from birth through grade 12 through community and college partnerships.
- The Barrow County School System plans to create a Community Literacy Alliance to improve the early literacy skills of children ages five and younger. Community partners may include the Piedmont Regional Library System, the Barrow Book Partnership, Barrow Family Connection, among many others. A new Early Learning Center will also provide parents, caregivers, and early learning partners with literacy resources and support.
- Post-secondary partnerships with Lanier Technical College, Piedmont College, and the University of Georgia allow Barrow students to earn credits to teach Early Childhood Education. Their programs also serve as a pipeline for student teaching, hiring, and professional development.
As an extension of the district's Barrow BOLD approach, the Barrow County L4GA Literacy Initiative is an additional opportunity to display a BOLD approach by "Bolstering Our Literacy Development."