WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $497,870 grant to the Region 2 Education Service Center in Corpus Christi.

The grant is part of the Literacy & School Libraries Program and will provide library resources and professional development to improve student literacy skills in 10 rural school districts.

The 10 school districts in a six-county area of South Texas are the Banquete Independent School District, Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD, Benavides ISD, Driscoll ISD, Mathis ISD, Orange Grove ISD, Ricardo ISD, Riviera ISD, Taft ISD and Three Rivers ISD.

"This grant will go a long way in providing unique programs to numerous schools in our region," said U.S. Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi. "The money will be used to increase multimedia resources and provide our students with the importance of literacy."

Created by the Texas legislature, the 20 education service centers based throughout the state offer programs to assist school districts in improving student performance, operating more efficiently and economically, and providing professional development for teachers and administrators.