Two Pike County elementary schools are among 66 schools that have been named National Title I Distinguished Schools for their performance in 2011 by the National Title I Association.

The recognized schools are Blackberry Elementary School in Ransom, Ky., and Southside Elementary School in Belfry, Ky.

All of the selected schools are recognized either for exceptional student performance overall, or for significantly closing the achievement gap between student groups. The schools are selected for national recognition by their state Departments of Education based on state-determined criteria, such as use of research-based instructional strategies, implementation of sustained research-based professional development, or established partnerships with parents, families and the community.

The recipients will be recognized Jan. 21 at the 2011 National Title I Conference in Seattle, Wash.

Title I is the largest federally-funded program for pre-college education, providing more than $15 billion annually to schools and districts for supplemental programs to aid economically disadvantaged students. Initiated as a key part of former President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” Title I is the cornerstone of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently referred to as the No Child Left Behind Act.

The National Title I Association is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to improving and implementing the Title I program so that more children reach their academic potential. The association provides educational leaders at the state level with the opportunity to work together to share ideas on effective and innovative programs, identify problems and solutions, and represent the needs of Title I students. More information about Title I and the National Title I Association may be found on the website at