On Friday May 31st, students at Ashmont School learned that they were one of three schools in Alberta and one of thirty across Canada to win an Indigo Love of Reading Grant for 2019. The grant, which is for $45,000, is a huge boost for Ashmont School's literacy program, which has undergone major changes in the past year. Teachers Carla Schneider and Erin Cherniwchan have taken on the role of literacy specialists in the school, and part of their role this year included applying for the Indigo Love of Reading Grant.
"One component of our literacy program is daily guided reading for everyone in grades K-6 during a 50 minute block. Students work in small groups with staff on reading fluency, comprehension, and writing skills. We’ve seen steady improvement in literacy across the elementary grades as a result of this whole-school initiative," said Schneider.
The Love of Reading grant will be a perfect complement, according to Cherniwchan. "Although we moved into a new school this year that is beautiful and modern, we brought with us many books and literacy resources that are less current and sometimes in poor condition. This grant enables us to improve our book collections and learning resources to further support our students’ learning."
The $45000 grant, which will be paid over three years, will be used to improve the guided reading library collection. The staff at Ashmont will incorporate newer titles, more accurately leveled books, and more diversity in the reading collection. The funds will also provide classroom teachers with collections of mentor-texts, which are high quality read-aloud books that can be used intentionally to teach specific reading and reading comprehension skills. In addition, the grant will be used to create home-reading kits containing 5-7 books based on an engaging theme such as dinosaurs, weather phenomena, or bears, for example. These kits would have books at multiple reading levels and hopefully will encourage students to read at home.
For more information about the grant program, be sure to visit the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation website, https://www.loveofreading.org