Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $1.3 Million For Two Southern Tier School Districts To Improve Literacy Skills

Oct 4, 2018

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,398,952 for two school districts in the Southern Tier. Specifically, the Elmira City School District will receive $727,431 and the Hornell City School District will receive $671,522. The federal funds are administered through the U.S. Department of Education’s Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. The City School District of the City of Elmira will use the funding to further the implementation of a tiered educational system that will cater to students of all reading levels. The Hornell City School District will use the funding to upgrade technology to support new teaching initiatives, as well as to hire staff and improve teacher training.

“Investing in innovative and novel ways to improve our youth’s reading skills is of the utmost importance, and this funding will do just that,” said Senator Schumer. “I am proud I helped secure these funds for the Elmira and Hornell school districts, and will always fight to ensure that schools across Upstate New York have the resources they need to help students reach their fullest potential.”  

“Learning how to read is one of the most fundamental skills that students learn. With this funding, the Elmira City School District and the Hornell City School District will be able to make important investments that will help high-quality literacy programs become accessible to some of our most vulnerable students,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I will always fight to make sure that our schools have the resources they need to help our students succeed.”  

“The Hornell City School District is grateful to be a recipient of this grant aimed on improving literacy within the school. The grant is focused on supporting students and teachers in grades PK-3 through providing resources, professional development, staff in the way of a librarian and through boots on the ground literacy support through a literacy coach. We believe that a key component for success in life lives within the ability to read well, write well, speak well, and to think critically. This grant is aimed to focus on these components with our youngest of learners within our district to give them the best foundation possible for success later in school and in life!  We look forward to reporting on the success stories written in the Hornell City School District as a result of this award!” said Jeremy Palotti, Superintendent of Schools, Hornell School District.

“We believe that early childhood literacy is the foundation for our students success.  This national grant award is significant to the Elmira City School District and represents a tremendous opportunity for our students and families to advance their literacy skills.  This grant will allow us to refine some of the work we’ve already done with early childhood literacy and advance our District-wide approach in order to prepare our students to be productive citizens.  We are grateful to our local, regional and state leaders for their ongoing advocacy and support,”  said Jay Hillman, Director of Educational Services for the Elmira City School District.

The IAL program is administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Academic Improvement. The IAL program provides funding to schools, school districts and other programs in low-income and high-need areas to foster literacy skills in students from when they are born through high school graduation. More information on the IAL program can be found here.