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Promising Practice - Strong Foundations (Early Literacy Grant)

Colorado's stories of promising practices

Strong foundations

Strong Foundations

Clayton Elementary School (Englewood Schools)

Aragon Elementary School (Fountain-Fort Carson School District)

Clayton Elementary School in the Englewood School District and Aragon Elementary School in the Fountain-Fort Carson School District are recipients of the Early Literacy Grant and have succeeded at improving reading at the early grades.


The Colorado Department of Education offers a competitive Early Literacy Grant to schools that provide funds to ensure the essential components of reading instruction are embedded into all elements of the primary, K-3 teaching structures. The grant provides funding to establish instructional systems based on scientifically based reading research, professional development, a support system, help in interpreting data and implementation of school-wide literacy programs.

Since the grant began in 2013, it has supported more than 60 schools in 35 districts, benefiting about 11,000 kindergartners through third-graders. Clayton Elementary in Englewood School District and Aragon Elementary in Fountain-Fort Carson were part of the second cohort of schools to receive the grant. Both have reported substantial gains in their students reading abilities that can be attributed to the benefits from the grant.

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  • Teaching the science of reading
  • Use of literacy coaches to help classroom teachers
  • Regular collection and study of reading data
  • Use of state funding and resources



Tracey Landrum, principal of Aragon Elementary, talks about how the Early Literacy Grant has helped improve reading for young children in her school.


Jenny Buster, principal of Clayton Elementary School in Englewood, discusses how the Early Literacy Grant has benefited her school.