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Posted September 19, 2013

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Horizon Grant Supports the Family Literacy Inclusion Project at Corrales ES

Struggling readers and their families are receiving support through targeted activities and events planned to improve reading scores for students and involve families in the process. FLIP, as the program is affectionately known, has varied components to positively impact students and their reading skills. It was funded by Bank of Albuquerque through the Spring 2013 Horizon Grants. The bank has a long history of supporting literacy in the community

Corrales ES librarian Josephine Darling, left, is joined by Bank of Albuquerque volunteers Brenda Haskew and Ken Aspan to assembly literacy totes.

Not only will two new family literacy events be added to the calendar at Corrales ES but totes filled with books, fun literacy games and activities for family participation, and materials for corresponding arts and crafts projects will be available for families to check out and bring home.  Recently several volunteers from Bank of Albuquerque met at the school library to help fill the totes for the first FLIP evening event for families.  Brenda Haskew, from the bank’s Cottonwood branch, Ken Aspan, from the Alameda branch, and Kristy Cothern from the Uptown branch all enjoyed assembling the literacy totes.

The proposal was written by Josephine Darling, Corrales librarian, to support existing literacy initiatives at the school and reach out to families of struggling readers in more effective ways.  "We are so thrilled at Corrales Elementary to have this chance to provide a new and creative approach to family involvement in literacy.  Making available take-home totes filled with quality books and corresponding crafts and learning games for the whole family opens up fun new possibilities for family engagement in learning.  We are so grateful for our partnership with The Bank of Albuquerque, the Corrales Public Library, and the APS Education Foundation.  It is really wonderful to see what a dedicated community can accomplish to support all of its members when working toward a pretty simple goal --sharing the excitement of learning and the love of a good book," said Ms. Darling.  She says that a second definition for FLIP is Fun with Learning and Intelligent Play.  It is certainly an apt description!

The components of the proposal included maintaining the current Family Literacy Event schedule, encouraging and facilitating expanded participation in the already thriving book clubs, and adding two new FLIP events providing specific and targeted outreach to families of students identified as struggling readers.  Family literacy totes to check out for home use were a huge addition to the project; totes are available in a variety of emergent reader levels and available in both English and Spanish.   Setting aside convenient weekly library time for family use was also a focus, enabling families to become more comfortable with how to use a library and the internet-based system both at school and at home.  Finally, data is being collected to engage in a continuous improvement process.

This project certainly fits the model of an ideal Horizon Award – it focuses on student achievement, is certainly innovative, and provides an exportable model for other schools and school libraries.  Thanks to all of our Horizon Awards sponsors, and especially Bank of Albuquerque, for supporting this and other innovative projects supporting quality education.

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