Reading First is a broad national initiative, funded under No Child Left Behind, with the goal of increasing student reading achievement in grades K-3. Under Reading First, the State Education Department provides grants to high-need schools for scientifically based instructional programs and materials and high quality teacher professional development. Over 300 schools in 98 school districts have participated in Reading First since 2003. Professional development and technical assistance is provided through the NYS Reading Resource Center and seven Regional Technical Assistance Centers. The NYS Reading Academy maintains on-line interactive courses for teachers and principals to support more effective teaching of reading. This is the access to the Reading Resource Center website and information about the New York State Reading Academy.
Federal funds for Reading First were discontinued in the 2009-10 federal budget. The New York State Reading First program will continue with about 200 schools until 6/30/2010.