Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti (D-17 Montgomery/Delaware) today presented a grant to the Literacy Council of Norristown. The state grant, totaling $104,000, will directly support the organization and help provide literacy and English language programs for both children and adults in the Norristown area. Funds will support getting books (both print and digital) into children’s homes; fostering partnerships with other organizations to further distribute materials and create family and child literacy programs that are transformational, collaborative, and sustainable.

“I am thrilled we were able to secure this funding which will further programming and distribution of diverse literacy materials and instruction to children and families in our community. Like a muscle, reading gets stronger with exercise and practice. Programs like this give our loved ones the space they might need to exercise this essential muscle,” said Senator Cappelletti. “For an area like Norristown, the inequities present in the public education system and recent rulings from the Supreme Court make this initiative even more important.”

According to US News and World Report, in the Norristown Area School District (NASD), only 46% of elementary students tested at or above the proficient level for reading, 41% of middle school students tested at or above the proficient level for reading, and 66% of high school students tested at or above the proficient level for reading. Furthermore, 15% of NASD’s students are English language learners, making English literacy programs essential to helping these students find academic success.

“We are proud to be a center for lifelong learning, in Norristown and Greater Montgomery County.” said Eileen Halstrom, Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Norristown. “We are also proud and grateful to accept this award on behalf of our community so that we can expand our English classes, our GED and adult education classes, and so that we can serve more learners in Norristown and in Greater Montgomery County.”