Mississippi Valley State University is a historically black institution of higher learning situated in Leflore County in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. The University has as its mission to educate and provide a resource center for learning to the impoverished population of the Delta. The dominant population of the Delta and the University is African-American. The local education agencies in the area lack many of the resources to provide the necessary support for teachers and students to meet the requirements of the Mississippi Accountability Plan. The inability to meet these requirements also prohibits them from meeting the yearly progress goals of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. In addition, Delta area schools have a critical teacher shortage specifically in the area of reading.
The Project will impact the teachers in the high-need LEAs identified as partners in this proposal. The seven districts are located in the target area served by the University through this grant. Each school district has worked with and agreed to provide support for the activities being proposed for the summer institute of 2006.
The goals of the project are: (a) to expand knowledge of reading; (b) to improve teaching skills to meet the needs of poor readers; (c) to train teachers in the use of assessment to inform instruction; (d) to enhance technology skills in the reading classroom; (e) to reinforce national and state reading standards such as standards from International Reading Association (IRA), National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the Mississippi Language Arts Frameworks, and the Mississippi Reading Reform Model; (f) to develop an interest in scientific research to be able to make an informed decision on what to teach and how to teach.