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Philadelphia Groups Among Those Benefitting From Pa. 'Race to the Top' Education Grants

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Organizations that partner with elementary schools are getting ready to put some recently announced early childhood education grants to work.

Two groups in Philadelphia are among the dozen statewide receiving the "Race to the Top" grants.  Drexel University and the group Parent Power will each get $75,000 over three years.

Dr. Tina Richardson, associate dean for academic affairs at Drexel, says her school will use the money to align pre-K programs with kindergarten-through-third grade reading and writing.

"We'll be providing professional development and coaching to improve literacy skills for children," she explained.

Quibila Divine, an adviser to Parent Power, says the group will expand its existing training.

"What we're going to be doing is providing parent quote-unquote 'leaders,' she said, "and then they're going to do turnaround training for other parents."

The grants are designed to expand programs that close the achievement gap for at-risk children.

The grants were awarded in October.  State and local officials gathered today at the Brightside Academy daycare, in West Philadelphia, to make the ceremonial announcement.

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