INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner announced a partnership with Lilly Endowment Inc. Thursday morning to invest up to $111 million in early literacy development for Hoosier students.

The move comes after a report from IREAD-3, Indiana’s statewide third grade reading assessment, showed that nearly one in five Hoosier students have not yet mastered foundational reading skills by the end of third grade.

The funding marks the largest financial investment in literacy in Indiana’s history.

“Lilly Endowment’s incredible investment today represents a long-term commitment to Indiana’s long-term success,” Holcomb said. “Reading is fundamental to each student’s lifelong opportunities, and it’s foundational to the core of our state’s future.”

Indiana will provide literacy support through instructional coaches, targeted support for students in need, and a literacy center focused on Science of Reading strategies.

The Science of Reading is a research-based strategy that integrates instructional practices with efforts focused around phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

“Although we understand many factors affect reading achievement, we are compelled by the research showing that Science of Reading strategies can help all students learn to read better and address equity gaps in reading,” said N. Clay Robbins, chairman and CEO of Lilly Endowment.

The funding will aid in Indiana’s goal of having 95% of Hoosier students pass the IREAD-3 assessment by 2027.

“This immense investment will make an enduring impact on our youngest generation of Hoosiers, empowering them with fundamental skills that they will carry with them throughout their lives,” Holcomb said.