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2022 Annual Report:
In 2022, Lilly Endowment launched in coordination with the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) complementary efforts to improve reading instruction for children in kindergarten through second grade in Indiana schools through the use of evidence-based teaching practices aligned with the Science of Reading (SoR). The Endowment is allocating up to $85 million to fund these efforts.
According to the Reading League, SoR is “a vast interdisciplinary body of scientifically based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing.” It provides a research-based strategy that integrates instructional practices with efforts focused around phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
Learning to read in the early years of elementary school is the foundation upon which all subsequent learning builds. Unfortunately, only 33 percent of Indiana fourth graders in 2022 were proficient readers according to the National Assessment of Education Progress. Students from economically disadvantaged households fared even worse. The assessment also revealed significant equity gaps in reading achievement between Black and Hispanic students and their white peers.
Because SoR-aligned teaching practices have been shown to significantly improve students’ reading abilities, the Endowment is providing:
In October 2022, the Endowment invited Indiana higher education leaders to a convening to learn more about SoR and ASRI’s grant opportunities (photo below). More than 150 college and university presidents, provosts, and deans, department chairs and faculty in teacher preparation programs heard from national SoR experts. Presentations addressed how reading achievement is improving in communities whose schools have adopted SoR practices and how the teaching of such practices can be strengthened in teacher preparation programs.