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Parents As Teachers Wins Federal Grant to Improve Early Literacy

An international nonprofit dedicated to helping parents get their children ready for school will fund activities to promote early literacy through a $3 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The grant, awarded Sept. 28 through the department's Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program, will allow Parents As Teachers to serve 2,000 families with young children in select states, according to the organization.

The federal literacy program supports "high-quality programs designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade," according to the Education Department. The $28 million in grants awarded last month to 46 school districts and nonprofits target children in high-need areas.

Parents as Teachers provides early-childhood organizations and professionals with tools and information to promote school readiness and the healthy development of kids from birth to kindergarten. It plans to use the federal grant to fund efforts by 60 of its affiliates to help improve early literacy by introducing parents and children to activities—including word-play games and conversation techniques—designed to encourage reading and language development. Participating kids also will receive a free book each month through a partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, the organization said.

Scott Hippert, the president and CEO of Parents as Teachers, said on the organization's website that the grant will enable the nonprofit to demonstrate the impact of its programs on kids' development of oral language and emerging literacy skills.

"This investment in education will yield long-term results as we prepare today's young children for success in school and to ultimately become tomorrow's educated workforce," he said.

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