Grant will help fund IU East literacy project for K-12 students

November 8th, 2010

The Indiana University East Campus Library and the School of Education have received a grant that will help provide literacy kits to Wayne County students in grades K-12.

The $2,250 Indiana Campus Compact Grant is funding the Connections Discovery II service-learning project. The project provides thematic learning kits used to engage and enrich literacy activities between IU East School of Education students and K-12 students. The project will serve at least four schools in Wayne County.

Connections kits include fiction and non-fiction books for each reading level as well as audiovisual media, activities materials related to the books, lists for online resources, and a journal for participants to reflect on their learning experience. The kits are constructed to build concepts and literacy skills and to promote fun in reading. The program will have a book-giving party where each participating child and teacher receives a free book to encourage reading for fun.

As part of Connections Discovery II, IU East students will host monthly after school or evening literacy events to demonstrate the kits with participants in the Birth to Five program, extending the Connections project to reach parents and pre-K children.

Frances Yates, director of the Campus Library, first developed the thematic learning kits with students enrolled in her trade books course in spring 2010.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to have quality literature and engaging activities packaged for easy use by teachers and caregivers.  All kits will be able to be checked out from the Campus Library,” Yates said.

Yates is now partnering with Denice Williams, visiting lecturer for the School of Education, to create new kits this spring through Williams’ emergent literacy course. Students in Williams’ course will use the kits in their field assignments.

“I am excited that the Library and the School of Education can partner to have a positive impact on the community,” Williams said. “It’s also a wonderful opportunity for pre-service teachers to have an authentic experience with creating meaningful literacy activities and actually use them while working with students.”

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