ESD 112 gets grant to boost literacy programs

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Vancouver-based Educational Service District 112 has received an $83,000 grant to improve literacy in Clark County and three other counties bordering the Columbia River.

The grant from the state Employment Security Department will pay for 26 Washington Service Corps members to create or expand tutoring programs in Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat and Skamania counties.

The team also will work one on one with families to support struggling readers.

“The Service Corps enlists the energy and enthusiasm of young adults in projects that benefit our local communities,” Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause said in a news release. “The investment pays for itself many times over and makes a lasting difference in the lives of the Service Corps members and those they serve.”

More than $1.7 million is being distributed to school districts, counties, learning centers, housing authorities and nonprofit groups to support 515 Service Corps members working in 34 of Washington’s 39 counties through August 2012.

Funding comes from the federal AmeriCorps programs. Employment Security distributes the money to local communities to cover operating costs and to provide stipends to Service Corps members to serve on a wide range of public-service projects.

The Service Corps was created by the Legislature in 1983 to engage the talents of civic-minded adults, 17 and older.