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Sparking Early Literacy Growth in West Virginia -- OLD

Photo of children reading together in a school library

Faced with a global pandemic that has closed schools and impacted literacy learning, the WVPEC has embraced the challenge to improve West Virginia’s literacy levels by the end of third grade.  56 percent of third graders did not receive a score of "proficient" or above on the most recent West Virginia General Assessment.

We want to make sure every single West Virginia student has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential, and that starts with making sure our students have the reading skills that will set them on a pathway to lifelong success.

That's why the WVPEC is partnering with the West Virginia Department of Education, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Steeley Foundation to improve literacy levels.

Educators, innovators, local leaders, students, researchers and parents can all take part in our journey to reach grade level reading proficiency for all West Virginians.


Following a rigorous application process, 60+ education and community organizations across West Virginia have submitted innovative proposals to help close the disparity gap among literacy rates.

What’s Next?

A selection committee of literacy specialists are identifying the most innovative and impactful proposals to share with the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Selected projects may address the literacy gaps of grade-to-grade learning slide, low vocabulary and the earlier engagement of at-risk learners, greater support for youth whose second language is English, low reading proficiency rates in elementary students and teacher preparation for personalized learning.

Winners will be announced by June 2021.

By The Numbers

  • 64 grant applications were submitted from 50 counties across West Virginia
  • 45 grant applications will be reviewed by the selection committee of state literacy specialists
  • 19 finalist applications will be chosen by the internal team
  • 9 winners will be selected by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation