Public school officials in Muskegon Heights are celebrating after the district learned it would receive $3 million to help advance student’s literacy skills. The Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System is one of five Michigan school districts that are being awarded $3 million grants each over a five-year period to participate in a statewide educational and professional development literacy network.
It is all in the hopes of improving both literacy and outcomes for children and students from birth through their senior year of high school. The grant is designed to focus on the needs of high-poverty school districts and their children.
School officials, who say that Muskegon Heights suffers from generational poverty issues, told WGVU that the district is ‘elated’ it had been chosen to receive the grant.
Rane’ Garcia is the superintendent of the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System, and shares her reaction when she got the news on Monday.
“I literally had tears in my eyes,” Garcia said. "This is something that we have been working hard for, and for a long time--had our eye on, planned for, focused for," she said. "It was just such a great relief to know that we were going to have this level of support for our students and our community."
Other recipients include Benton Harbor Area Schools, the Detroit Public Schools Community District, Flint Community Schools and the Pontiac School District. According to a news release, the Michigan Department of Education won a national competitive grant of nearly $16 million from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) through the federal literacy state development program.