“Imagine moving to a foreign country where very few people can understand you, your needs, your wants, your dreams. Imagine people talking all around you, reading and writing, but you can’t understand them. Now, think back to learning to read or watching your child learn how to read. Remember the sense of accomplishment it brought and the doors it opened?”
This is the picture Melissa Behny, Nora Elementary Literacy Specialist, painted for The Advancement Center grants committee in her application this past fall. She wanted Nora staff to be better equipped in opening that door for English as a New Language (ENL) students, and make accessible more resources to promote success at such a scary time.
Nora serves one of the highest “new comer” populations in Washington Township. This means that many students, regardless of grade, do not start school knowing how to speak English, let alone read it. While Nora has great classroom and school libraries, often times there are not enough lower level books, especially in the upper elementary classrooms that support new English language learners. With support from Advancement Center donors, Ms. Behny was able to provide hundreds of lower level, high interest books covering both fiction and nonfiction topics appropriate for “new readers”.
Ms. Behny appreciates that “these books will provide leveled reading opportunities that support each child and help them to feel successful in achieving their goal.” We are thankful to all donors who “open doors” by supporting the Annual Fund that make grants like these possible!