United Way of South MS awards education grants

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Eleven programs across the Mississippi Gulf Coast will be getting a share of $800,000 in education grants. United Way of South Mississippi chose those programs because they focus on early childhood education and help children who are falling behind in reading.

A new state law requires third graders to read at their grade level, or risk being held back. Quarles Elementary in Long Beach will use the $25,000 it will receive to purchase electronic reading tablets. Mentors will use the tablets as an interactive tool to get students interested in reading.

"I was thrilled because it's just a great need in our classrooms for more technology and help our at-risk readers," Quarles Elementary Principal Lori Price said. "It also gets some mentors in our schools. I think this is a fabulous thing for our kids and anything that can better their education is great with me."

The program at Quarles is called Project Read. Once the tablets are purchased, any amount left over will be used to buy incentives to reward students who reach their reading goals.

In addition to Quarles Elementary School, the following agencies and programs will also receive grant funding for 2013-2015: The Nourishing Place- PreK4Ward and ENHANCE, Hancock Human Resource Agency, Moore Community House, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, Gulf Coast Women's Center for Non-violence, Parent's for Public Schools, The Boy and Girls Club of the Gulf Coast and Manna Ministries.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.