BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Officials presented a new program Wednesday aimed at helping Louisiana children learn how to read amid the state’s literacy crisis.

Families will be given $1,000 tutoring vouchers in the Steve Carter Literacy Tutoring Program, according to the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will be eligible for the program.

“This voucher is another tool in the toolbox to help kids learn to read,” said State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “Steve Carter believed in helping kids – that’s what this program does.”

In-person and virtual tutoring services will be available to students. Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jenna Chiasson said the program will allow families to search for tutors in their area. However, some areas will have virtual tutoring as their only option.

The department said certified tutors who will be working within the program have been approved by LDOE. Students who do not speak English as their first language can work with a multi-lingual tutor.

State Rep. Jason Hughes and State Rep. Scott McKnight are the two lawmakers behind the 2021 Act creating the program. The state’s education department has invested $40 million in program funding, according to LDOE.

Families of students eligible to register for the program will be notified by school systems. For more information about the Steve Carter Literacy Tutoring Program, click here.