BUCKHANNON—The Tennerton Lions club was approached by Tennerton Elementary School Oct. 8 to raise money for a new literacy program. The new book program started this fall and its overall goal is to provide students with books they can take home and claim as their own. Tennerton Counselor Suzanne Bohman said the program started with fifth grade teacher Christy Gaudet who was inspired by the backpack program from the high school and decided she wanted to do something with literacy.
“We know that kids improve literacy if they have access to books and that was the heart of the whole project was to make sure that the kids have books in their hands,” Bohman said.”
Tennerton was able to raise $700 for the fall, but they estimated it would take $1,300 to make sure every child at the elementary school received a book. Secretary of the Tennerton Lions Club Frank Becker said they voted Oct 8. to provide $500 dollars to the cause. Becker said they were happy to help a project that promoted literacy.
“Literacy is very important because this is our future,” Becker said. “If these kids don’t have good reading levels they aren’t going to do well in school, so we wanted to start to on the grade school level.”
The school works with a book company called Scholastic and this company offers $1 books each month in their catalogues and Bohman said this is where the books will be coming from.
“The books will be from a selection,” Bohman said. “Every month there are the $1 books in the flyer and they actually get to pick one and take it home with them and they get to keep it.”
She also said the books the children will get to pick from will be on the grade level for the students and the genre will be eclectic so the students can pick something that interests them.
“I hope the kids develop a love for reading,” she said. “Not just to have a book but to absolutely love to read and improve their literacy and I just think it will be so much better for them.”
Becker said being able to read about something he was interested in as a child helped him become a voracious reader to this day.
“When I was their age I was diagnosed with a case of dyslexia and I had a reading teacher who took kids aside and basically said ‘find a subject you like and start reading that subject,” Becker said. “I loved horses so I started reading stories about horses, “Black Beauty,” “Man of War” and I started reading books and I love reading to this day.”
The project is already underway and some teachers have already put an order in for books and should receive them this month.
Bohman said the school is coming up ideas to write grants and they hope this project continues after this year.