SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday announced plans to request $30 million from the Legislature in the upcoming session to construct an institute focused on improving literacy skills for New Mexicans of all ages. Preliminary data shows a 4.3% increase in reading proficiency for third through eighth-grade students.

“The work we have done so far to implement evidence-based reading instruction in our schools is working, but we are not stopping there,” said Lujan Grisham. “Until every child in New Mexico can read proficiently at their grade level, we must keep deploying every tool at our disposal. I have no doubt that our strategy of bringing students, parents, teachers and higher education institutions up to speed in the Science of Reading will yield results.”

The governor made the announcement during a literacy summit in Santa Fe. The summit was focused on the state’s efforts to improve literacy outcomes in students by making sure teachers, students, parents and higher education institutions are well-versed in Structured Literacy, also known as the “Science of Reading.”

Guests at the summit included Antonio Fierro, chief academic officer for Tools 4 Reading/Barksdale Literacy Institute, Dr. David Hurford, the Kansas Center for Reading director, Pittsburg State University, and Dawn Brookhart from the AIM Institute for Learning and Research in Pennsylvania. Legislators, administrators, educators, advocates and tribal leaders were also in attendance.

Lujan Grisham and a group of education policy experts traveled to the Kansas Center for Reading to learn more about establishing a literacy institute in New Mexico.

The governor’s strategy also includes making sure that New Mexico colleges and universities are adequately trained in the science of reading to students in its education program.“We will also continue to build the literacy skills of parents and adults through state-funded adult literacy programs to ensure that every New Mexican has the building blocks for lifelong learning,” said Acting Higher Education Secretary Dr. Patricia Trujillo.

The Science of Reading is being implemented across the state at all levels of learning.