Horizon third-grade teacher Cassie Cotter displays the books she was able to share with her students last year thanks to a Plymouth Education Foundation grant.
Posted February 21, 2022
The Plymouth Education Foundation is helping the Plymouth School District mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, generously using its grant program repeatedly during the past two years to support student literacy.
“Technology is a fixture in many of our students' lives, and Covid has only tended to increase that time,” said Assistant Superintendent Dena Budrecki. “Providing engaging books related to student interests is an activity that is ‘screen free.’ It is also a strategy in aiding any loss of literacy skills from the early days of the pandemic.”
Since 2020, the Plymouth Education Foundation has received and granted six requests related to reading initiatives. These grants, totaling $3,886, support unique and creative ways to reach students in the evolving new normal:
A recurring theme for the grants is the use of books to stay connected. During the 2020-21 school year, Mrs. Cotter was looking to build community safely in her third-grade classroom. “One way to do this was to be a community of readers by reading a shared text,” she said. The foundation mini-grant enabled her to purchase four class sets of books, which the students were able to keep.
“This meant that for the remainder of the year we could come together while still staying apart,” she said. “Not to mention we were able to allow students to build their own libraries with some meaningful and familiar texts. It was a true win-win of creating a classroom community and readers!”
Books also helped unite the students in the elementary virtual schoolhouse offered during the 2020-21 school year.
Teachers Judy Woelfel and Lori Brown purchased copies of at least 16 different titles, including “Grumpy Bird,” “Duck on a Bike,” “Strega Nona,” “Calendar Mysteries: March Mischief,” “Stealing the Sword,” “Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family,” and “A to Z Detective Camp.”
The books, which were included in the monthly packets provided to families, allowed teachers to offer guided reading groups, Mrs. Woelfel said.
“The students were thrilled to not only have actual books in their hands (when so much of their schooling last year had become digital), but just knowing they were the first to read the books made it even more special,” she said. “Thank you to the Foundation for honoring our grant request and partnering with us to make a difference for our students!”
• Read more about the Riverview Books for All initiative.
• Learn more about the Plymouth Education Foundation grants program.
• Visit the Plymouth Education Foundation website at plymouthedfoundation.org.