Louisiana is being awarded a $42 million competitive federal grant to improve reading skills for 67,000 disadvantaged public school students, state officials announced Tuesday.

The money will be allocated over five years and will allow schools to set up literacy leadership teams, including coach coordinators, and to provide training to support evidence-based literacy activities.

The funds will also provide instruction for early childhood educators, teachers, principals and others for the literacy development of children and to engage families for family literacy activities.

"We must ensure every student is a proficient reader before they exit elementary school," state Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley said in a statement."

"These funds will serve as a catalyst for a renewed community commitment towards lifelong literacy in Louisiana."

The federal grant will serve 550 local leaders, 2,600 teachers and children from birth to 12th grade.

Email Will Sentell at wsentell@theadvocate.com.