ST. PARIS – Students and staff at Graham Elementary spent their last week of school learning, reading, and giving the gift of early literacy to area families. As part of the Champaign Literacy Foundation efforts to provide early literacy resources to area families, Graham provided over $500 worth of free books to area families the week prior to their break.
Students and teachers had fun with families new to Graham. They also spent time reflecting on community needs, and those less fortunate than them. “This is a community, a county that struggles with the realities of poverty. Providing resources to families with children before they ever enter the schools helps build community awareness, and is ultimately one of the best ways to create solid readers and learners. Early literacy strengthens our future community. It is one of the keys to fighting poverty, and we must expand the influence we can have throughout the county with the Literacy Foundation’s work,” said Kirk Koennecke, superintendent of Graham.
With the help of the foundation and GES staff, over $500 of free books were given away, and families were once again encouraged to sign up for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library resources. As part of the program, books are delivered to area families monthly by funds raised through the efforts of Graham, the Foundation, and local agency partners like the YMCA and United Way. This is the second year in a row Graham has promoted the Literacy Foundation and helped foster Pre-K literacy events for resources for the area’s families.
On January 23, the region will play host to the 2018 Ohio Literacy Summit at Clark State Community College. The United Way, Clark Sate, OSRC, and Battelle for Kids have helped develop this one day workshop event for interested community members and citizens, as well as educators, to foster deeper connections for literacy foundation work across the region.
“One of the strategic goals of our community partner retreats this past year was to grow awareness of early literacy programming in our communities. Thanks to generous local sponsors like the Champaign Chamber and CRSI, we are able to bring national literacy expert Cris Tovani here to provide the keynote address and several important breakout sessions,” Koennecke said. “We will have wonderful sessions on community grants from the Ohio Department of Education, as well as sessions from Ohio State experts, Battelle staff, INFOhio, and key regional leaders, for one powerful day of learning.” Interested community members can visit the United Way CCM website to register, or contact Clark State.
Information from Graham Local Schools.