During the 2019-2020 school year, Roger Bell New Tech Academy was awarded the International Paper Literacy Grant, administered through Craven County Partners In Education. This grant allowed the school to purchase a plethora of books for their students to meet their needs as well as provide books that are aligned to their interests. Each week the school celebrated their readers during “Leveling Up Lunches” where students were recognized for their successes and allowed to self-select a book to become part of their home libraries. Prior to school closure due to Covid-19, 76 RGB students had received books. The school’s teachers intend to pick back up their celebrations when they return to school for the 2020-2021 school year.
In evaluating the success of this grant, it is important to recognize that the ultimate outcome is for students to develop a love of reading. Every week teachers and administration were able to witness student’s excitement at selecting a book for them to keep in their home. Students begged all week to ensure that they would be celebrating their success on Friday. An unexpected outcome of the weekly celebrations was the increase in parent support of their reader. Parents were flocking to the school to eat lunch with students on Fridays to participate in “Level Up Lunches!” They shared that they had to make their children put their books away so they could go to bed in the evening. This excitement for growing their home libraries resulted in students increasing the volume of books they read. With this additional practice in reading RGB’s students have become better readers and more independent as a result.
Unfortunately, RGB did not get to complete the project but will give away the remaining books in the fall.
Thank you, International Paper for your support and investment in the students of Roger Bell New Tech Academy and Craven County Partners In Education. This grant is an example of International Paper’s dedication to increasing literacy for our students.
Darlene Brown, director, Craven County Partners in Education (PIE)