WASHINGTON–The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) today announced the Reading to Achieve initiative, which will provide assistance and grants to help states develop literacy plans and policies to improve adolescent literary achievement. Made possible with the generous support of Carnegie Corporation of New York, competitive grants of up to $50,000 for one year will be awarded to as many as eight states.

Based on research and best practices, the NGA Center's Adolescent Literacy Advisory Panel recommended strategies for governors and others policymakers to consider in their efforts to improve adolescent literacy achievement in Reading to Achieve: A Governor's Guide to Adolescent Literacy. The Reading to Achieve grant program is intended to assist states at any stage in the development or implementation of plans to strengthen policies to promote adolescent literacy.

"States must focus on adolescent literacy education to ensure students graduate from high school prepared for college and the workforce," said John Thomasian, director of the NGA Center. "The resources provided by the Reading to Achieve grants will help states accomplish this critical goal."

"In the twenty-first century – an era characterized by an overabundance of information that we must all find ways to transform into real knowledge – a great deal is riding on America's ability to teach its students to read to learn," said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. "Literacy is essential to educational achievement and economic success, and it must be a goal that all schools, teachers, parents, policymakers and the public work toward together, for the benefit of our children and our nation."

Grant proposals must be submitted by governors' offices no later than January 11, 2006. A committee independent of NGA will select grantees based on a set of criteria, which are included in the Request for Proposals Grant awards will be announced in February of 2006.