Creation of reading area to be utilized "before school" for children and teachers

Educator Name: Kelly Howell
School Name: Field Elementary School

I want to create a Multipurpose Reading Area for kids. Before school this area will be used as a cozy welcoming area where kids can read books, look through magazines, and play educational games on I Pads independently or with a community volunteer. During school hours the reading area will be open to Classroom Teachers and students to use during SSR(Self Selected Reading). And every Tuesday the area will be open for our school book exchange where students who give a book can take a book home to enjoy. Currently we have a small weekly book exchange where every Tuesday all students are invited to bring a new or gently used book to school and trade it for a book of their choice they can keep the book or return it the next week for a new one. As a kindergarten teacher I feel it is important for me to get the program off to a good start so my classroom has 100 percent participation every week. I make sure every kid has a book for the book exchange by providing books for kids who did not bring them from home this way a student without books in their home will end up with at least 38 books of their own by the end of the school year. Many of these children will then participate in the weekly book exchange in 1st and 2nd grade. This is a ever changing book exchange/ recycling program where new books are always coming and going. I would use this grant to make this program bigger.

Providing opportunities for students to practice and increase reading skills outside classroom hours will benefit everyone. The school day is packed full of curriculum and little time is available for students to just enjoy a good book. Even read alouds are often tied to the curriculum which leaves little or no time for students to be exposed to books for enjoyment. Kids love to read Captain Underpants however it would be hard to find a teacher who can fit him into an already packed day.

It’s simple, the more you read the better you read. Getting books in kids hands and in kids homes will make a big difference in student reading levels. I expect to see reading scores go up as well as student confidence. I also expect the improvement in reading scores to transfer to other areas including math which is becoming more and more reading based. I also expect to see an increase in students’ prior knowledge after reading Informational Text books found in our collection. I also expect to see a decrease in school tardiness and an increase in students who are fed and ready to learn.

Student attendance in the program will be tracked as well as students Reading level. We will also be able to compare student scores of non-participants to student scores of participants to see if the desired growth is taking place. Universal screening including a Developmental Reading Assessment will be used to measure results. Student tardiness will also be tracked to see if getting the children to school earlier gets them to class on time.