FARMINGTON — A $500,000 grant will help the Farmington Municipal School District provide effective and targeted intervention for elementary students struggling with reading.

The district was awarded the grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. It will fund training for a group of teachers from Bluffview and McKinley elementary schools to increase the reading proficiency of students by the end of third grade.

Title 1 Director Valerie Tulley said the goal of the grant will be to form a cohort of kindergarten through third-grade teachers from the two schools to provide reading intervention to students. She said the goal is "to provide effective, targeted intervention" for students who struggle in reading.

Starting in the spring, a group of 12 teachers will take part in professional development centered on the differentiated instruction model of learning. Described as a flexible style of teaching, differentiated instruction helps recognize students' different levels of language, preferences and readiness in learning.

The teachers will work with consultants from the 95 Percent Group to learn about the multi-tiered model of instruction to use in the classroom and in after-school tutoring.

Each teacher will be given intervention materials, diagnostic screening tools and coaching to address specific needs for the students.

Tulley said the idea is to identify students in need and work with them to maximize their growth and success by addressing where they are in the learning process.

The grant will fund the project through 2016, possibly allowing for multiple groups of teachers and more elementary schools to take part in the program.

Assistant Superintendant of Human Resources Linda Schilz said the grant will help the district work with students are struggling with reading.

"We are elated to have the grant. It's a great opportunity for those two schools to look at very specific intervention," Schilz said.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.