We’re excited to announce that 1,200 new books are going into the hands of our (Ralph Atwood Primary School) first graders over the next two years. Each student receives ten books to add to their home library. These ten books are a combination of high interest texts, both fiction and nonfiction, and they reflect current reading levels to grow confidence and fluency, and to promote “next step” reading levels.
Alissah Paquette of Thomas College and student teacher at Ralph Atwood Primary School in Oakland, ME conceived this project through her action research assignment. The focus was to identify a need of the school and follow through with a solution, backed by research. Over the past year, due to COVID safety protocols to keep them and the community safe, children are no longer allowed and able to browse classroom book bins and library shelves as before. This, along with school closure and remote learning last spring student literacy was impacted. The solution was the HOME LIBRARY PROJECT.
Research proves, a text rich environment and access to print materials, especially in the home, increases literacy skills. This project is also intended to provide opportunities for parents and caregivers to read together. This shared reading activity instills a passion for reading and a love for learning for our young learners, a critical foundation for student academic success. This endeavor was made successful by the generous contributions of area business owners and private community members. The Home Library Project will give 120 young readers a home library to share with their family.
When asked about the highlights of the Home Library Project, Miss Paquette responded, “It is refreshing and inspiring to see the community come together and support our children. This project is also a step forward in developing parent/school relationships and involvement. With all first graders receiving the (10 book Home) Library, we are able to offer an enriching common experience for our children and equalize childhood. I am truly excited to give the gift of reading and togetherness to our first graders and their families.”