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New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

PRESS RELEASE

May 6, 2003

SDE Announces $6.71 Million in Reading First Awards


(Santa Fe, NM)- The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) announced today that 32 public schools in 10 school districts will receive $6.71 million in New Mexico Reading First Awards to improve student achievement in reading through the application of scientifically-based reading research. The goal is to ensure that every third grade student reads at grade level.

New Mexico was the 10th state to be awarded Reading First funding after meeting the rigorous criteria set forth by the US Department of Education. As of April 28, 2003, Secretary of Education Rod Paige has announced 31 state awards. "New Mexico is extremely fortunate to have a capable team of staff and external partners who have established the early literacy infrastructure to support effective reading instruction," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis. These efforts have been coordinated by Program Manager Sharon Dogruel from Curriculum, Instruction, and Learning Technologies in the Learning Services and Indian Education Division.

The recipient schools and dollars awarded for each district include the following:

ALBUQUERQUE PUBLIC SCHOOLS $1,796,386
Alamosa Elementary
Atrisco Elementary
Dolores Gonzales Elementary
Duranes Elementary
Hodgin Elementary
La Mesa Elementary
Tomasita Elementary
Whittier Elementary

CHAMA VALLEY INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS $437,544
Chama Elementary
Tierra Amarilla Elementary

CUBA INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS $225,000
Cuba Elementary

ESPANOLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS $1,125,000
Abiquiu Elementary
Alcalde Elementary
Fairview Elementary
Hernandez Elementary
Tony Quintana Elementary

GRANTS-CIBOLA COUNTY SCHOOLS $675,000
Mesa View Elementary
Milan Elementary
Mount Taylor Elementary

LAS CRUCES PUBLIC SCHOOLS $450,000
Columbia Elementary
Valley View Elementary

LOVINGTON MUNICIPAL SCHOOLS $450,000
Ben Alexander Elementary
Lea Elementary
Llano Elementary

SANTA FE PUBLIC SCHOOLS $450,000
Agua Fria Elementary
R.M. Sweeney Elementary

WAGON MOUND PUBLIC SCHOOLS $207,897
Wagon Mound Elementary

WEST LAS VEGAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS $895,393
Luis E. Armijo Elementary
Don Cecilio Martinez Elementary
Tony Serna Jr. Elementary
Union Elementary
Valley Elementary

The SDE received $8.39 million last fall from the U.S. Department of Education for the first year of the six-year Reading First program. The SDE will use approximately $1.68 million in 2003-2004 to provide technical assistance and comprehensive, high-quality professional development to ensure that all teachers have the skills they need to teach reading. Approximately $9.3 million will be available for the program in 2005-2006.

"The heart of the New Mexico Reading First initiative is building the capacity of educators to teach reading. These first awards really launch a comprehensive, in-depth and coordinated approach to the teaching of reading statewide. This will provide critical support to students who are struggling to read in our state," said State Superintendent Davis.

The first-year awards will reach approximately 12,800 students in grades K-3. Participating schools implement their program for three years and those that show two consecutive years of significant reading improvement will be eligible for additional funding above their award. Improvement will be determined by performance (in English or Spanish) on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment.