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New funding targets early literacy and numeracy

New funding totalling $1.8 million for early literacy and numeracy initiatives will improve reading, writing and math skills of students from kindergarten to Grade 8, Education Minister Nancy Allan announced March 12 at David Livingstone School in Winnipeg.

The new funding will bring the total amount of funding for early literacy and numeracy to $8.9 million per year.

"Developing strong reading, writing and math skills in the early years is critical to student success later in life and creates more opportunities for students in school and beyond," said Allan.

Additional funding of $1 million has been allocated to the Early Literacy Intervention (ELI) grant, which supports literacy programs for the lowest-achieving students in Grade 1 of the English or French program and grades 1 or 2 of the French immersion program. Funding is used to support reading recovery programs and/or locally developed early literacy programs that have demonstrated success. Total funding for the ELI grant is now $7.3 million per year. "Studies show that all children who participate in early literacy programs improve their reading and writing skills and 70 per cent of students show such significant improvement that they need no further supplementary support with reading and writing in the early years," said Allan.

Additional funding of $800,000 has been allocated to the numeracy initiative to support school divisions with design and implementation of numeracy programming to improve students' math skills in kindergarten to Grade 8, the minister said.

New funding will extend the grant, which previously included kindergarten to Grade 4 students, to include in grades 5 to 8 as well.

"Extending numeracy funding to students in grades 5 to 8 will give middle-years teachers access to new teaching strategies in mathematics to ensure that students get the math skills they need to succeed in school and beyond," said Allan.

This announcement complements other initiatives the department is currently undertaking to support numeracy including the introduction of an updated math curriculum from grades 1 to 12 that has clear expectations related to the fundamental skills that all students will need in order to achieve in mathematics.

Additionally, Manitoba Education is collaborating with all of the faculties of education across the province to improve training for math teachers.

"The Manitoba government is committed to helping students improve their reading, writing and math skills and ensuring students have the resources and supports they need to reach those goals," Allan said.


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