Fletcher Elementary School first grade teacher Teresina Isabella and her sister Lucia Guarnieri recently applied for, and received, a $4,000 grant from Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The grant allows Mrs. Isabella to purchase a wide variety of non-fiction literary items for all first grade classrooms to use. Some of the items purchased with the grant include: big book collections, audio books, literary activities such as sort and match Science games or all about animals photo libraries, leveled non-fiction reading sets and fluency library with audio CDs to name just a few of the many non-fiction materials that will be available to Fletcher first graders.
“Some of the latest research says that students lack adequate exposure to non-fiction text,” said Mrs. Isabella. “The new Common Core Standards also require teachers to have an equal balance of fiction and non-fiction materials. By engaging students with more nonfiction text and hands-on materials, they will gain knowledge of a wider range of subject matters. My sister helped me write the grant and having this money to purchase supplies for my classroom will directly benefit my students.”
The grant is to supply materials for Non-Fiction Literacy Workstations. The objective is to improve struggling students’ reading levels. With a non-fiction guided reading program supported with books and technology, students will be able to read literature at their instructional level. The materials will serve all first grade students at Fletcher Elementary School. By adding an up-to-date guided reading program, it will greatly improve teachers’ ability to facilitate the challenging New York Common Core Standards. The materials will be used during the 90-minute daily reading program, which includes workstations and whole group instruction.
“First grade is where reading begins,” said Mrs. Isabella. “If students get a good base and enjoy reading skills, they will do well throughout their educational careers. Most of the reading required by college sand workforce training programs is informational and can be challenging if students are not exposed to it. Engaging students with more nonfiction text will better prepare students for assessments, movements throughout grade delves, college and the workforce.”