Bay State Reading Institute Wins $5M Federal Innovation Grant

Bay State Reading Institute, a nonprofit educational group in Holliston, that offers a program that improves academic performance and narrows the achievement gap for elementary school students, has been awarded a major $5 million, federal innovation grant.

The Data Driven School Partnership program of the Bay State Reading Institute (BSRI) was one of only 49 programs in the country to receive the U.S. Department of Education grant, which attracted 1,698 applicants from throughout the country. 

The funds will enable BSRI, founded five years ago, to expand the program to 6,800 students in 12 high-need, low-performing schools in Brockton, Fitchburg, Gloucester, Malden, Pittsfield, Taunton, and Revere.

In the first year of partnership with BSRI, the number of students meeting literacy benchmarks improved by an average of 72% and similar gains were made in each subsequent year, according to Barbara Gardner, the organization’s executive director and a former associate commissioner for school readiness in Massachusetts.