Rome City Schools has recently been awarded one of the largest and most competitive grants in the state. As part of the Literacy for Learning, Living and Leading (L4GA) grants awarded by the Georgia Department of Education, RCS will receive an additional $137,000 for birth to 5-year-old educational programs, $572,000 dollars for kindergarten through fifth grade programs, middle school programs will receive $285,000 and high school programs will see an extra $269,000 for literacy-related programs.

Totaling roughly $1.3 million in additional revenue, this grant funds school system programs formed through community partnerships aimed at increasing the literacy rate among RCS students.

“This is actually a continuation of a prior grant we were awarded by the Georgia Board of Education called Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant,” explained Louis Byars, Superintendent of Rome City Schools. `

It is important to note that Rome City Schools has received a total of $6.5 million from the Striving Readers grant over the last six years. In 2011, RCS was awarded $3,549,586.84 in grant money and an additional $1,114,621when the state offered an opportunity to extend the grant money for programs in 2016.

“Areas the Georgia Board of Education looks at when awarding grant money is school sizes and how much money each program we submit is eligible for,” said Byars. “This grant will run for two years, but we do have start-up money we can use to implement ideas we have for literacy programs we will fund next school year.”

Byars said the system hopes to start an early learning program at the new Main Elementary School set to open in the fall of 2019. There are also additional elementary schools in the city where he hopes they can implement the literacy-based programs, as well.

Rome City Schools also receives federal funds for Title I programs targeting students who are economically disadvantaged, grants for special education programs and many other smaller grants to fund education for RCS students.

“Our 21st Century Grant we received last year is a five year grant totaling over $3 million and it funds our Aspire Afterschool Program,” Byars said. “When looking at the data from our Aspire program, we have seen great improvements in our students not only academically, but behaviorally as well. We are thrilled to have been awarded three of the largest grants outside of the federal money given each year. These extra resources will help Rome City Schools to continue providing the best educational opportunities for our children.”