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Mason Dixon Elementary receives $50,000 grant through Sparking Early Literacy Growth initiative


Mason Dixon Elementary School receives $50,000 grant to support school-readiness where it starts – at home  

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (September 20, 2022) – Mason Dixon Elementary School is the recipient of a $50,000 grant through WVPEC’s Sparking Early Literacy Growth initiative to support school-readiness where it starts – at home. Commissioned by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Mason Dixon’s Eagle’s NEST (Nurture, Educate, Succeed Together) project will provide caregivers and young learners with literacy and school-readiness resources to encourage reading at home year round.

The Sparking Early Literacy Growth initiative was established by the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative (WVPEC) to help close West Virginia’s academic achievement gaps in reading proficiency. Through a rigorous selection process, numerous proposals were considered by a team of statewide literacy experts. The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation Board of Trustees approved eight projects, totaling $400,000 in funding. The EQT Foundation also elected to fund an additional project for $50,000.       

“We’re so excited about the opportunity to engage our community in the Eagle’s NEST project, which provides participating educators and staff with professional development to improve high-quality instruction and will provide our families with at-home reading resources to help prepare students to meet proficiencies inside the classroom,” said Denice Corder, Principal of Mason Dixon Elementary. “We will build supportive relationships with families, so they are best able to nurture their children's learning at home.”  

Program participants will include second grade students and their siblings who participate in Head Start, Early Head Start and Pre-K, students with low reading achievement or low attendance, students in foster care and students with grandparents as their guardians.

Mason Dixon staff members involved in the project will engage in an intense study of the “Impact Cycle” by Jim Knight and will receive professional development training on implementing best practices using the phonics program from “Secret Stories” by Katie Garner.   

Collaborative partners in Mason Dixon’s Eagle’s NEST project include the Mason Dixon Rotary Club, Head Start, Early Head Start and WVU 4-H Extension. 

To learn more about the WVPEC’s Sparking Early Literacy Growth in West Virginia projects, please visit

For more information about the Eagle’s NEST project, please contact:                                               

Megan Bacorn

Assistant Principal

Mason Dixon Elementary School