Date: Feb. 17, 2009
Contact: Carol Connelly, Director,
Media & Communication Services, ext. 5267, firstname.lastname@example.org
PNC Kappa Delta Pi Wins NEA “Youth Leaders for Literacy” Grant
Westville – Christy Kelver, Purdue University North Central Elementary Education student and member of Kappa Delta Pi, an International honor society in education and PNC Education faculty members Dr. Diane Maletta, associate professor of Education and Debra Pratt, continuing lecturer of Education, have received a grant through the National Education Association for “Youth Leaders for Literacy.”
Their proposal was one of 25 organizations to be selected for a $500 grant, from more than 200 proposals submitted from throughout the United States .
The “Youth Leaders for Literacy” grant will support collaboration between PNC, the Michigan City Area Schools and the Michigan City Library. A major goal of the literacy project is to bring families together through reading while building their enthusiasm for reading in their everyday lives. Research continues to show that literacy is the foundation of lifelong learning. For this reason, it is particularly vital that its foundation be developed well at the elementary level, and that is why all Michigan City Elementary schools will take part in this project.
According to statistics gathered for this literacy grant, Michigan City is an urban area with English/Language Arts test scores well below the state average. Twelve percent of area children live below poverty level and 37 percent come from single-parent households.
“This literacy project is intended to provide support for these children and their families in the area of literacy. The children will benefit from positive experiences with reading which they may not have previously enjoyed,” said Maletta.
The events funded by the grant will begin in February and continue through April. The project theme is “Hats Off to Reading ” and will focus on the life of Abraham Lincoln.
On Feb. 23, to kickoff the Literacy project, Block 5, (first semester senior PNC students), will lead “read-alouds” in eight elementary-level Michigan City Area Schools.
On March 2, “Read Across America Day,” PNC Kappa Delta Pi members will read aloud in Michigan City Area elementary schools. The books to be read include: “Abe Lincoln's Hat” by Martha Brenner, “Honest Abe” by Edith Kunhardt, and “Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books” by Kay Winters.
On March 19, PNC students will design and lead a parent literacy night at Pine Elementary school to bring parents and children together through reading. PNC students will help the parents and children with bookmaking activities and the PNC students will share read-aloud books and encourage families to read together daily.
On March 23, PNC students will give Readers' Theatre performances in the Michigan City Area elementary schools. These entertaining glimpses into Lincoln 's life will make reading come alive for the elementary students.
The culminating event of this funded literacy collaboration will be April 18, when Kappa Delta Pi and the Block 5 students will participate in the “Hats Off to Reading” celebration at the Michigan City Library. This will include a variety of reading-related activities, including making Abe Lincoln hats, building log cabins, engaging in newspaper activities, bookmaking, playing literacy games, listening to a storyteller and interacting with an Abe Lincoln impersonator. An Abraham Lincoln paperback will be given to every family in attendance.
“This literacy project will provide students an understanding of how exciting reading can be,” said Maletta. “These literacy events will help parents become more aware of the very important role that reading plays in the academic success of their child. While PNC students will provide a model for parents, the goal is for parents to realize the importance of reading with their children and continue reading with them at home.
“We thank the National Education Association for supporting such a worthy collaborative project between PNC and Michigan City . The elementary students and families are the winners in the end, and PNC students will no doubt make better future teachers because of these experiences.”