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UCP Charter Schools Awarded $914,000 Literacy Grant

Charter Schools to fund successful literacy initiative, projects 5-8% overall literacy growth.

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 20, 2023)— A new literacy grant, courtesy of the Florida Department of Education, is going to help UCP Charter Schools supercharge their progress in teaching students with and without disabilities better reading habits.

UCP Charter Schools, a leading network of charter schools committed to fostering inclusive learning environments, was awarded a Comprehensive Literacy State Development Program (CLSD) federal subgrant by the Florida Department of Education.

UCP Charter Schools, a leading network of charter schools committed to fostering inclusive learning environments, will launch an innovative initiative to increase literacy outcomes for students after receiving a federal subgrant from the Florida Department of Education.

The prestigious two-year grant will empower UCP Charter Schools to launch an innovative initiative to increase literacy outcomes for students by 5-8%. The grant will also allow the network of charter schools to train instructional staff and speech-language therapists to support students with the latest research and best practices to foster reading, writing, and comprehension skills.

UCP Charter Schools, a network of 8 charter schools and a program of UCP of Central Florida, launches hed in 2001. It has grown to now serve over 2000 students aged from birth to 21 years of age.

“We are incredibly honored to have been awarded this federal literacy grant,” said Dr. Ilene Wilkins, Superintendent of UCP Charter Schools. “This grant represents a significant investment in the future of our students, ensuring that every child, regardless of their abilities, has access to quality literacy instruction. By supporting collaboration, professional development, parent engagement and support, and accessible resources, this grant will foster a love of reading and unlock doors of opportunity for all learners.”

As part of this grant, UCP Charter Schools will continue its partnership with the REED Charitable Foundation and its use of the Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach, a systematic approach of building foundational literacy for all students, which is particularly useful for supporting students with processing impediments such as dyslexia.

“We already are seeing significant results in closing gaps of learning,” said Dr. Karyn Scott, Director of Curriculum and Instruction with UCP of Central Florida. “After utilizing OG, students that could barely name letters to read a sentence with consonant-vowel-consonant words have now started blending fluently.”

Following this success, the REED Charitable Foundation named a UCP Charter School a “model school” for its use of the OG approach. UCP has since piloted two other OG learning communities to its roster.

The new grant will provide a powerful boost to the program and staffing, but parent engagement and support at home remain important elements in improving literacy for students.

“There is a crucial role for families in promoting literacy,” said Meredith Daniels, Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, Humanities. “This grant will aim to also strengthen the connection between schools and parents through workshops, training, and resources to support their child’s literacy development at home.”

About UCP of Central Florida:

UCP of Central Florida is a non-profit (501(c) (3)) organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children of all abilities in Central Florida. For more than 60 years, UCP of Central Florida has provided support, education, and therapy services for children and families touched by disabilities. As one of its programs, UCP operates a consortium of charter schools for students with and without disabilities and is considered a national leader in inclusive education. For more information about UCP of Central Florida.


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