2008 Literacy Grant Recipients

Article excerpt

Young Students Inspired by Book Program

The Phi Kappa Phi Chapter at Lock Haven University brought all fourth grade students from a local elementary school to Borders book store to select books for their school's library. Kathy Richards, chapter president and literacy project director, chose her literacy project with one idea in mind: she wanted to encourage students at Jackson Elementary School to read more.

"I WORK IN THE ELEMENTARY EDUCATION DEPARTMENT of the University," she says. "I understand the importance of teaching the joy of reading to young children."

Richards says the results from her Literacy Award program were amazing and are having a lasting impact.

"You can't imagine what it's like to take 100 students of low socioeconomic status, many of whom have never been in a big book store, let alone been given money to spend on what they love, and see the joy on their faces," Richards said following the field trip. "In fact, I recently saw the librarian from Jackson Elementary School. She told me Our' books are getting a 'major workout' during summer school. She's thrilled!"

Richard says she also has seen a number of the fourth-graders who benefited from her literacy program over the summer as she's run errands. "When they see me they say, 'you're the lady who bought us books!'"

Not only did the students at Jackson Elementary Schools benefit from the program, Richard says. Her Phi Kappa Phi students also were touched.

"Another wonderful result of the Jackson Elementary project was the boost it gave to student teaching placements," she said. "The Phi Kappa Phi students who went had such an incredible experience, they asked to be placed at that school for student teaching.

"The fourth grade teachers agreed to the arrangement. It truly has been a wonderful experience for all of us."

More than 300 books were selected by the fourth graders and purchased using funds from Richards' Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant. Each book then was placed in the school's library with a Phi Kappa Phi book plate and the signature of the student who picked it. "There will always be a book in the library that has their name on it, giving them a piece of ownership in the library collection," Richards said.

Literacy Library for Leveled Reading

CATHERINE DELK (Austin, TX - initiated in Catneron University) Phi Kappa Phi funds will purchase 200 leveled reading books for an elementary school literacy library, Teachers and volunteers will use these books when teaching reading to beginning readers, below grade-level readers, and readers with learning disabilities in grades K-5. A commemorative book plate will be placed at the beginning of each book, recognizing Phi Kappa Phi for its donation. The local Phi Kappa Phi chapter will be invited to participate.

Tutoring Adult Learners

JUDY STILES (Missouri Southern State University) A combined effort with Joplin NALA (Neighborhood Adult Literacy Action) Read, a non-profit, tax-exempt literacy council, and MSSU will use members and resources of Phi Kappa Phi to foster and strengthen literacy skills in adult learners. It also will coordinate with community resources to provide services, enabling learners to reach their full potential. This will be accomplished by recruiting and tutoring adults who need help in reading, math, and/or English as a second language (ESL), recruiting volunteers, and training tutors. Students from Missouri Southern State University and Ozark Christian College will be recruited as volunteer tutors. In addition, the Director of Joplin NALA Read is a Phi Kappa Phi member and will assist the project Manager, Phi Kappa Phi member Judy Stiles of Missouri Southern State University, in overseeing the project. Resources from the grant will provide both literacy and ESL student books.

Building a Math in Literature Library

DONALD AUSTIN (Union College) The Studying Arithmetic In Literature (SAIL) program at Union College's Kenney Community Center for Education and Outreach works with two elementary schools in Schenectady, NY, to improve the math and reading literacy skills of 50 at-risk eiementary students. …