Improving Literacy Through School Libraries

Improving Literacy Through School Libraries

Row 1: Left to right: Paula Yohe, Project Director; Ann Carlson, East Elementary: Rebecca Coleman, Gordon Elementary

Row 2: Left to Right Marcia Bethea, J.V. Martin Jr. High; Ruthann Wooten, Stewart Heights Elementary; Sarah Stubbs, Dillon High School; Linda Dutton, South Elementary

Dillon School District Four is proud to announce the awarding of a grant, “Improving Literacy Through School Libraries.” The winning project entitled, Literacy for a Lifetime: Creating Literacy Communities, is the only school district winner in North and South Carolina. The $212,417.00 project is a multi-faceted, approach to improving literacy and academic achievement. The three primary objectives of the grant are (1) to foster within our citizens of all ages a general love of reading and an appreciation for learning, (2) to help break the cycle of illiteracy, and (3) to increase academic achievement among our students in Dillon School District Four. The Literacy for a Lifetime: Creating Literacy Communities project will use the school library media centers and the District’s school library media specialists, in collaboration with community agencies to meet these objectives.

All K-12 students will participate in book clubs at each school. Books will be available in a variety of formats: print, electronic, and recorded. At all schools, students in the book clubs will share their reading experiences via face-to-face discussions, as well as such advanced technologies such as web logs, online book reviews, and video book commercials.

Another priority at the K-12 level will be to update all of the school library collections and to align the library collections with the curriculum. Online collection analyses, as well as collaboration with teachers and/or curriculum specialists, will be utilized to accomplish this goal. The library media specialist will work to expand collaboration efforts with classroom teachers at all schools to include use of the Big6 research model and I.M.P.A.C.T.: Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century (the South Carolina State Department of Education’s information/technology literacy curriculum).

We believe that parent and family involvement in a child’s education is vitally important to each child’s success, in order to foster this invovlvement, a Family Literacy Night will be held at each school in the district. During these events, the library media specialist at each school will demonstrate and provide instruction on the District’s virtual library, and will showcase literacy activities and all of the anytime/anywhere resources offered by the school library media centers.

The library media specialists will collaborate with classroom teachers, administrators, parents, and students in the K-12 project activities, focusing on reading and English/Language Arts standards. Classroom teachers, teacher specialists, curriculum specialists, each school’s Library Media Advisory Committee, and the District’s newly-formed District Library Media Advisory Committee, and the State Library Media Consultant all will assist in the upgrading and improving of the media center collections.

Email and webpages will provide up-to-date information on grant activities for students, teachers, SLMSs, and the community.

The library media specialists will serve as project coordinators at their schools and Paula Yohe will serve as the Project Director.


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