A grant from The Success Foundation has given 30 students the chance to work on literacy learning in the classroom and at home. Candy Gonzalez at Prairie Heights Middle School received a grant for $1,280.91 to buy 135 books. This grant has provided Newcomer English Language Development students at the middle school level access to a meaningful, academically appropriate, and culturally diverse classroom library with leveled readers to build the school to home literacy connection while meeting the literacy needs of all students. Along with the classroom library, the grant has provided each student with a book bag to transport books between school and home. “Through literacy learning in the classroom and carrying over to the home environment, I believe my students and their families will take the first steps to personal responsibility, family/school collaboration, and self-advocacy.” (Gonzalez)
This project is meant to encourage students to develop their fluency, comprehension, and decoding skills, and to expand their use of vocabulary and high fluency words. Over the course of the year, students will have the opportunity to read approximately 189 different books. Seven languages were spoken in Candy’s classroom this morning, and most of her students had been in the United States for less than six months. Students were eager to share what they were reading, with stories ranging from Fairy Tales to Sports to History. We asked the students what their favorite part was and many of them stated that the books were helping with their vocabulary expansion. All of the students in Candy’s class had smiles on their faces as they dove into new books that would help them continue on their individualized literacy journey.