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Congressman Bilirakis Partners with Pinellas Education Foundation to provide funding for Pinellas Early Literacy Initiative

Congressman Bilirakis Partners with Pinellas Education Foundation to provide funding for Pinellas Early Literacy Initiative

Congressman Gus Bilirakis commits more than $1.2 million in federal funding to improve literacy proficiency in elementary schools.

Largo, Fla. – The Pinellas Education Foundation is pleased to announce that Congressman Bilirakis is committing to over $1.2 million in federal funding for the Pinellas Early Literacy Initiative, which prioritizes improvements in literacy instruction for pre-kindergarten through second grade in sixteen Title I schools and up to sixteen community Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten providers.

The Pinellas Early Literacy Initiative (PELI), a program developed by the Pinellas Education Foundation and Pinellas County Schools, was designed to boost reading proficiency in children from Pre-K through second grade by providing specialized training, tools, and resources to their teachers. Literacy achievement largely predicts academic success in every subject area. The goal is to lay a foundation for all students early on to give them the best chance of thriving throughout their education.

Congressman Bilirakis has been a long-time proponent of the public education system, both in the Florida Legislature and now in Congress. “Making sure that every child has a strong foundation for success is critical,” said Congressman Gus Bilirakis.  “I was pleased to champion the Pinellas Early Literacy Initiative project as I believe an investment in future generations is always wise. This program will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the lives of countless children.”

“We know that providing resources and supporting teachers to effectively introduce the science of reading and evidence-based early literacy practices is one of the keys to ensuring students are ready for kindergarten and continue to succeed throughout elementary school. We are so thankful to Congressman Bilirakis for investing in the future success of young students,” said Dr. Stacy Baier, CEO of the Pinellas Education Foundation.

About the Pinellas Education Foundation:

Established in 1986, the Pinellas Education Foundation is a dynamic, nationally recognized non-profit organization that leads the way in advancing public education and student achievement. The Foundation is committed to equity—a belief that every student deserves a high-quality education. Its mission is to accelerate educational achievement for all students through the effective mobilization of innovation, relationships, and resources, ensuring that every student will be prepared for life after high school. Foundation programs support academic achievement, whether students choose to attend college, enter the workforce, or obtain technical training, with program directors collaborating closely with Pinellas County Schools and a number of community and corporate partners. To learn more about the Pinellas Education Foundation and its partners, please visit https://pinellaseducation.org/.


Kate Smith, Senior Communications Director

[email protected]

(727) 588-4816, ext. 2128