STAR Language and Literacy Project
Books in Hands, Books in Homes
The STAR Language and Literacy project has the goal to get books into the hands and into the homes of the students. The project seeks to accomplish this in several ways. First, the project provides books for the students. These books are selected by the students and are given to the students to take home. The Literacy coach helps the students to select books at their own reading level and purchases these books for the students. Next, the project has purchased Kindle e-readers for to be used by every student from 1st through 8th grade. As with the books, the project buys e-books that the students can read on their kindles. Third, the project buys books for the STAR School Library and for the classroom libraries on the STAR School campus. These book purchasing projects make quality books available to the students at STAR School and increase their opportunities and their motivation to read.
During the 2012 school year, a large number of books were donated to the STAR School. Thanks to this generosity, we were able to start a school library. Part of the funds from the STAR Language and Literacy Project are being used to buy new books for the library. We currently have over 3000 books. The library has been organized into genres, and there is a computer program for students, staff and parents to check out and return books to the library.
The genres available to students include Fantasy, Realistic Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, and many non-fiction books as well. We are especially proud of our Native American Literature collection that was assembled through the efforts of The Navajo Peacemaking/Safe Schools Project. We encourage donations to our library and invite parents
Kindle e-readers have proven to be very exciting and motivating for our students. The excitement in their eyes when they order a book and have it available to read on their kindle within hours has been a very rewarding thing to witness. Parents have visited the Literacy coach with the great news that their child has read everything downloaded on the kindle and would like more. The kindles allow customization of reading level, print size and (in some cases) can be set up to read to the student. The ability to close a book on the kindle and have it open later on the page where you left off also seems to be a motivating factor. The immediate choice that a student has to choose between books on a readily available list also encourages reading.
Because teachers have the ability to upload assignments and progress notes to the kindle, which goes home with the student, the use of kindles has improved communication between teacher and student and parent. Besides the books, the kindle provides other important tools like daily organizers and calculators for those students who need them. Teachers can download a book to all students in their classes and have a ready group reading assignment or set of text books in their classroom. One semester into our kindle project, we haven’t had any kindles reported damaged, lost or stolen. Agreements were signed by the parents of those students who take them home, and we believe that the level of trust this has engendered between the school, the students and the families is a wonderful thing.
Learn more about how Kindles help in schools
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