he Lamar County School District will use the $45,000-a-year grant to screen its kindergartners for dyslexia and train K-5 teachers on how to identify and work with dyslexic students.
Petal School District received a $134,965 grant to be used over the three-year period. Also, Jones County School District was awarded a $134,971 grant.
"This means for us that we're hopefully going to do a better job of identifying reading problems in our students and help them do a better job in reading," Lamar County Superintendent Ben Burnett said.
Work under the grant begins when school starts next week.
The district previously gave dyslexia training to 125 kindergarten through third-grade teachers under a grant it received last year from the state Department of Education.
"A recent survey indicated a high percentage of the instructional staff wanted more knowledge on identifying characteristics of dyslexic students or working with students with characteristics of dyslexia," Assistant Superintendent Stacey Pace said in an email.
Burnett said the grant would allow the district to meet its teachers' needs for dealing with dyslexic students.
"It is the intent of the district to meet the needs of the dyslexic population, especially in grades K through 5 and to address the needs for reading improvement," she said.
Lamar County School District and Petal School District were among eight public school districts in the state to receive the grant.
"This grant will be implemented in grades K through 5 in each of our elementary schools," said Pace.
Training will take place monthly, and detailed training will occur for about 25 teachers throughout the three-year grant, according to Pace.
Teachers will be trained in the Orton-Gillingham method - a teaching approach that is commonly used with dyslexic students.
Via Lou Salza