Literacy Grants to Benefit Pair of Unit 4 Schools

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 9:18am

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – A pair of Champaign Unit 4 schools were recently named grant recipients by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. As two of only 24 Illinois Youth Literacy grants, Bottenfield Elementary and Edison Middle School are able to expand their libraries and provide additional opportunities to students.

Bottenfield’s grant totals $1,750 for its “Making the Jump from Picture Books to Chapter Books” program. The school plans to purchase 125 new titles for its library with a focus on transitioning students into the next reading level. Two years ago, Bottenfield replaced many of its old, falling apart, and well-loved books with a Dollar General grant. 

“Our library has plenty of chapter books and a very large selection of picture books, but we do not have many books for our students who are right in the middle,” said Hanna Reside, Bottenfield Elementary librarian. “Fortunately, there are many recently published books that are fun and have attractive titles that encourage our emerging readers to be more confident in their ability. With this grant money, we can expand our current collection of Transitional Reader books.”

The $2,000 granted to Edison will fund the “Just Right Reading" program. A minimum of 200 English language learners, dual language students and students with learning disabilities will benefit. Students will receive classroom and library reading instruction that will improve their reading abilities while providing access to books of interest. The grant will expand the number of books available by three times its current total.

“Students need books they can read in order to be engaged and improve reading skill,” said Karen Easton, Edison Middle School librarian. “Because of this grant, students who presently have only a few books available for choosing will now see 150 new books added to our school and classroom libraries.”

Since 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $172 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 11 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. Each year, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation provides financial support to schools, nonprofit organizations and libraries within a 20-mile radius of Dollar General stores and distribution centers.