School of Education receives grant for book clubs in low-income, high-mobility school

School of Education receives grant for book clubs in low-income, high-mobility school

September 27, 2017, 3:00 p.m. CDT
Contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College Marketing and Communications, 620-363-2461

Peru, Nebraska – School of Education faculty, Dr. Robert Ingram and Dr. Kelly Kingsley, are collaborating on creating book clubs in a low income, high-mobility school.  Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants has awarded $2000 to their literacy effort.

Dr. Kelly Kingsley, assistant professor of education, said, “I am so thankful to Dollar General for their generosity and for believing in our program.”

“With their help we are putting 10 to 12 books in the hands of 50 fifth grade students this school year. We will also be able to help them improve their literacy skills in a fun way.”

Dr. Robert Ingram, assistant professor of education, adds, “I am pleased we have this chance to increase the home libraries of students due to the grant funding.”

The Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants award letter reads, “We are proud to support your efforts to promote literacy and wish you every success in the coming year.”

The book club project will address achievement gaps in literacy for fifth grade students in a low income, high-mobility school, located on the military base, in Bellevue, Nebraska. The project has three distinct groups, a boys group led by Ingram, a girls group led by Kingsley and a control group.

The book club groups will receive books to read, discuss and use as a foundation for active learning.  This will promote reading comprehension, fluency and accuracy.  It will also promote an enjoyment of reading.

“The book clubs allow for great conversations about the text and help create more excitement for the students,” Kingsley said.

“The students can choose what books they want to read next.  They rank their top three choices as a club. Having a choice in what they are reading is important to sustaining their interest and enjoyment of reading.”

The students will keep copies of the books they read, building their own home library. Books clubs will address 10-12 books throughout the school year while promoting team building, a life long love of reading, and literacy skills.

Kingsley continues, “The clubs also provide a good chance to socialize in class, but it’s focused around reading, instead of other things. They love getting the opportunity to talk with their peers. Each student will bring a different viewpoint on the story.”

In the spring the fifth grade students will come to Peru State’s campus to participate in literacy events and activities with the School of Education’s teacher candidates.

Ingram concludes, “We hope to replicate this program in schools close to Peru State and involve our teacher candidates in the process of growing book clubs in the area. What a win-win for elementary students and the college students that will work with them.”

“We are benefiting from the assistance of many people and agencies.  In addition to thanking the Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants program and the School of Education, we should recognize Dr. Gina Bittner for helping us gather data – and helping with the on-campus celebration event.”

Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants provide funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Grant funding is provided to assist in implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs; purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives; and purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs.

Since 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $127 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and schools that have helped more than 7.9 million individuals learn to read, prepare for the high school equivalency test or learn the English language.

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