ACPS is to benefit from a $60,000 grant to spend on new books for students.
Our division was selected from 100 applications received by First Book, a nonprofit that advocates for equal access to quality education for children in need.
The money comes from their OMG Books Grant Awards: Offering More Great Books to Spark Innovation.
This is a program that will give more than $4.7 million in funding to distribute 1.5 million brand new books and eBooks to children living in low-income communities in 33 U.S. states and territories.
ACPS plans to direct the money to fund literature that represents the diversity we see in our classrooms as part of our Literacy Out Loud (LOL) project.
“We are so excited about this opportunity to put multicultural and multilingual books in the homes of our students city-wide,” said Shanna Samson, the ACPS Assistant Director of School, Business and Community Partnerships.
“We are asking teachers in all of our early childhood and Title I schools to select books that represent the diversity within their classrooms and to invite parent volunteers in to read the selected books to their students, including reading in the family’s native language if a bilingual book is chosen. This will not only help promote literacy and affirm identity for our students, but it will also continue to strengthen our school-family relationships.”
LOL will work to connect students across the city with high-quality, culturally relevant and age appropriate books to help build their home libraries. Parents and caregivers will also be engaged in a variety of opportunities designed to improve family literacy.
Books will be distributed at early childhood education centers and Title I schools, family engagement opportunities and free bookshelves placed in community centers that serve our city’s highest need children, youth and families.
Kyle Zimmer, First Book president, CEO, and cofounder said, “We know that access to books and eBooks makes a significant difference in a child’s future success.”
“With the OMG Books Awards, First Book and ACPS are investing not only in the future of the kids we’re reaching, but in the overall wellbeing of our nation.”
This funding will support the work ACPS began last year when all elementary schools received budget funding for new books with a culturally sensitive focus.
This helped us better align with current Virginia Standards of Learning, supporting teachers to help students acquire the skills and vocabulary needed to succeed in state testing.