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Pennsylvania Department of Education Presents Innovation Incentive Awards to 11 PA Schools

Hershey, PA - At today’s PA Literacy Conference, representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Education presented Innovation Incentive Awards to 11 Pennsylvania School Districts. The Keystones to Opportunity (KtO) Innovation Incentive Awards program is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating innovation in literacy among Pennsylvania’s Striving Readers: Keystones to Opportunity sub-grantees.

“I congratulate today’s Innovation Incentive Award winners -- schools that have demonstrated a commitment to increasing literacy among students of all ages,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “It’s been proven that there is a direct correlation between literacy and achievement, and I applaud the schools and educators who are dedicated to improving outcomes for all students.”

Eleven awards were presented to school entities in five categories representing the grant’s statutory areas (birth to age five, elementary level, middle school level, high school level, and birth through grade 12). Awards were given to districts that demonstrated the greatest growth towards increasing literacy outcomes in each of these areas through: increasing student progress, providing sustainable professional learning, engaging stakeholders, enhancing leadership, utilizing technology, enabling data-based decision making or creating 21st century learning environments.

Winners included:

Category One –

Increasing Literacy Outcomes Birth to Age 5
First Place: Derry Area School District
Second Place: West Perry School District
Third Place: Northgate School District

Category Two –

Increasing Literacy Outcomes at the Elementary Level
First Place: Curwensville Area School District
Second Place: North Penn School District

Category Three –

Increasing Literacy Outcomes at the Middle School Level
First Place: Greencastle-Antrim School District
Second Place: Otto-Eldred School District

Category Four –

Increasing Literacy Outcomes at the High School Level
First Place: Interboro School District
Second Place: Chichester School District

Category Five –

Increasing Literacy Outcomes Birth through Grade 12
First Place: Southern Huntingdon County School District
Second Place: Blairsville-Saltsburg School District

Awards were presented during the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Keystones to Opportunity Grant’s 2017 Pennsylvania Literacy Conference.

The Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program is a federal grant aimed at improving literacy outcomes for students from birth through grade 12.  Pennsylvania was one of six states to be awarded the competitive federal grant dollars.  The Pennsylvania initiative, Keystones to Opportunity (KtO), was available to all local education agencies (LEAs) throughout the state, and LEAs were chosen to receive funding based on a needs assessment and literacy plan.  Fifty-three school districts in Pennsylvania received funding.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, or to read PDE Secretary Rivera’s budget testimony, visit the Department of Education’s website at or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Casey Smith - 717-783-9802

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