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UE School of Education awarded $500,000 grant from Lilly Endowment for Advancing the Science of Reading in Indiana initiative

Posted: Tuesday, December 12, 2023

The University of Evansville (UE) has received a grant of approximately $500,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its initiative, Advancing the Science of Reading (SoR) in Indiana. The grant will support UE's School of Education.

UE is one of 28 Indiana colleges and universities that received grants from Lilly Endowment to support efforts that integrate Science of Reading-aligned principles into teacher preparation programs.

Through the support of this funding, the School of Education's goal is to thoroughly prepare pre-service teachers to implement the SoR principles in their future classrooms. In doing so, this will ensure the increased literacy ability levels of Indiana's elementary-aged students. The grant includes professional development for literacy faculty and pre-service teachers, along with SoR resources that will allow the application of SoR throughout clinical experiences.

"Investing in education is an investment in the future. This grant not only empowers the institution but also signifies a collective commitment to advancing the science of reading in Indiana," said Dr. Sally Busby, Clinical Assistant Professor of Education. "By supporting our programs here in Evansville and across Southwest Indiana, we look forward to a brighter tomorrow through the transformative power of literacy."

"It is imperative that more of Indiana's elementary students learn to read proficiently, and it is essential that current teachers and the next generation of teachers are prepared to use proven principles to teach reading in their classrooms," said Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment's vice president for education. "We are pleased therefore to help Indiana colleges and universities strengthen the use of these research-based principles to teach reading in their teacher preparation programs."

Lilly Endowment launched the Advancing the Science of Reading in Indiana initiative in 2022. It complements a statewide effort undertaken in 2022 by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to improve reading achievement in K-12 schools by helping current teachers implement Science of Reading-aligned principles in their classrooms. In 2022, the Endowment made a $60 million grant to the IDOE to support that work with school districts and teachers across Indiana.

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