EnjoyReading is back to school for the 2013-14 school year with a new model and new energy! We appreciate all of our supporters, followers, and donors -- thanks for sticking with us and with DC kids!
EnjoyReading will continue to combat city-wide low reading performance in DC public schools without access to books at home or in school libraries. Research shows that creating a steady stream of new, age-appropriate books has nearly tripled interest in reading within months. We at EnjoyReading have always believed that the best way to increase reading performance is for students to have access to high quality books they choose -- books they want to read!
Our new model granted one Scholastic book club award to a pool of applicants of DC public and public-charter school teachers. Our award allows each student in one lucky elementary school class to select and receive one book per month from Scholastic book club catalogs, totaling 10 books per year to add to their home libraries. This will increase the amount of books read in the awardee’s classroom by 250!
Our grant also includes two family literacy nights at the school for the grant recipient’s class and their families.
Meet our Grant Recipient
We are thrilled to introduce Samantha Ellerbeck, our first grant recipient, to the EnjoyReading community! Ms. Ellerbeck currently teaches Special Education at Center City Public Charter Schools, Brightwood Campus. Her students range from 3rd through 7th grades, and a third grade class she works closely with will receive the grant award this year!
Ms. Ellerbeck’s crucial work in literacy instruction at Center City Brightwood follows the mission of her school. However, Ms. Ellerbeck faces many challenges with teaching reading to her student population, of which 95% are considered low-income and 45% are English language learners.
“I have the privilege of working with students who often feel the most disenchanted with and unsuccessful at reading. One of my primary responsibilities beyond teaching the mechanics of reading is to help all students fall in love with literature.”
Ms. Ellerbeck teaches children to love reading by giving them ample time to read books of their own choosing independently, but faces some frustrations:
“Unfortunately, [resources] are constrained at our school, which has no library and serves families who are often unable to provide books for their students at home. A common refrain heard in the classrooms is: ‘I’ve read all of these already!’ or ‘I don’t want to read any of these books!’”
Ms. Ellerbeck is thrilled to receive the grant from EnjoyReading and allow her students to pick out the newest, most engaging books available on the market from the bright, appealing Scholastic Book Club catalogs. She says:
“With the resources to provide our students with this opportunity, we will truly be able to immerse our scholars in a literate environment at Center City Brightwood and create a community of engaged readers following their own interests and curiosities. I envision student-led book talks that spark the creation of a sign-up list for who gets to borrow the book next. I imagine students consulting written book reviews hanging on the walls. I foresee the classroom bursting with chatter at the end of stamina reading, because the students just have to share Matilda’s latest escapade or a new fact about seahorses. These experiences will increase students’ ownership of the classroom and generate a self-sustaining atmosphere of shared, authentic literacy.”
We certainly look forward to working with Ms. Ellerbeck and her class. Stay tuned to this blog to find out what books her students choose to read and take home next month!