The Investing in Innovation Fund provides funding to support local educational agencies and nonprofit organizations in partnership with one or more local educational agency or a consortium of schools. The purpose of the program is to provide competitive grants to applicants with a record of improving student achievement and attainment in order to expand the implementation of, and investment in innovative practices that have demonstrated an impact on improving student achievement or student growth, closing achievement gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates or increasing college enrollment and completion rates.
Amarillo ISD has implemented Reading Recovery since 1994, and served as a training site for Reading Recovery teachers. In 2010, Amarillo ISD partnered with Texas Women’s University. The same year the University was awarded $2.9 million, a portion of a $45 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) allocated to Ohio State University to “scale up” Reading Recovery at no cost to schools districts across the nation over a 5 year span.
The Department of Education i3 Grant allows the Panhandle region to leverage these federal dollars to train teachers at no cost to the districts. Match funding from local foundations secures training slots for teachers in the Panhandle area.
In 2012-2013, The Amarillo Area Foundation/The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation, donated $20,000.00 in support of adding additional Reading Recovery teachers to several campuses in Amarillo ISD and the Panhandle area.
In 2013-2014, The Bivins Foundation donated $10,000.00 for the same sole purpose. South Lawn, Lawndale, Puckett and Eastridge all took advantage of these funds to train Reading Recovery teachers.
The funds are used to cover graduate course tuition, a starter book collection, instructional materials as well as attendance to a Reading Recovery conference, or travel for training related purposes. Teachers may use additional funds to enhance their book collections.