Leaping into Literacy

The first steps toward literacy are taken in the home. That’s why a program at the Academy Project at Lincoln Annex in New Brunswick (Middlesex County) received a $9,700 continuation grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education and Verizon.

Leaping into Literacy involves four first grade classes at this heavily Hispanic K-4 elementary school. Teachers Lillian Calderon, Ellen De Knoop, Sofia Palfey and Marilody Zafar will coordinate the project. Activities include adult family member involvement sessions, intentional lessons promoting literacy, and construction of individual books.

It is hoped that each child's family will augment the family library that is started with donations from this grant. By providing each family with a small bookcase the expectation is that a special place in the household will be set aside for books and reading. By presenting the bookcase and asking that the families decide together on its placement, an atmosphere of anticipation about the project will be created. An adult family member will be asked to keep a journal of the family trips to the library. If books are purchased or acquired in other ways, it will be encouraged that notations of such will become part of the record kept. In this way adults will be motivated to take an ongoing active role in the project. Attendance at the school book fairs will be encouraged.

Each child will have the opportunity to complete a book that will be bound professionally. By giving each child this opportunity, it is hoped that the link between reading and writing will become more evident. The completion of this task will also enhance the self-esteem of the individual child.

Verizon supports family literacy programs in which public school educators partner with libraries or other community organizations and is an NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education partner.

For further information, contact:

Sofia Palfey
(732) 745-5300, ext. 4320