$25K foundation grant targets literacy

Quakertown Community School District  |  Posted on
Richland Elementary School fourth-grade science and social studies teacher Kim Casale said the new books are “a powerful asset to our classroom.”

When Kelly Cramer walks into a classroom, her eyes invariably scan for books. It’s one of the things that makes her the perfect fit as Quakertown Community School District’s K-12 Instructional Coach and K-12 ELA Content Specialist.

When she heard the Quakertown Community Education Foundation was looking to make a big impact on student learning by offering a $25,000 grant, she began developing ideas. Her proposal: “Knowledge Building Classroom Libraries,” focused on fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms, which had been departmentalized with a different teacher in science and social studies.

“I noticed students had textbooks and articles, however they weren’t surrounded by books to enhance their learning further,” she said. “My goal was to create science and social studies libraries that all students could access regardless of reading ability, so they could further explore the topics they were studying in class.”

Her plan was one of several submitted to QCEF, which chose Mrs. Cramer’s for its ability to improve literacy for hundreds of students. “I’d like to give a huge thank you to the Education Foundation,” Mrs. Cramer said. “I can’t thank them enough. Mostly, I’m excited our teachers and our students will have access to all of this information at their fingertips.”

The funding was used to purchase 2000 books for 800 students and 20 professional development books for 20 teachers.

Kim Casale, a fourth-grade teacher at Richland Elementary School, said the books are related to the science and social studies curriculum. “It’s a powerful asset to our classroom,” she said. “The books are available on their level. They came labeled and leveled for me. The kids can read and share what they’ve learned. It’s exponential knowledge. It’s a fantastic addition.”