CMS receives grants for literacy

Published 9:18 am Thursday, February 9, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

CLANTON — Clanton Middle School received three grants from the Chilton Education Foundation to promote literacy.

Deidre Bishop, a seventh-grade language arts teacher, received $423.56.

“My grant funds will be used to purchase student-requested books for our classroom library. Ever since the beginning of the school year, students have been leaving me sticky notes with titles of books they either haven’t been able to secure from our school library due to high demand or books they had heard about that we did not have,” Bishop said.

It was her first time applying for a Partners Enhancing Education in Chilton County grant.

Kelly Rozelle, who teaches seventh-grade English, also applied for a grant for books for her classroom. She received $535.20. Rozelle said this was her third time receiving a local grant to expand her classroom library.

“This year my focus was on adding specifically current award winning titles,” Rozelle said.

This included National Book Award winners to graphic novels and audiobooks that have received the award in its genre.

“I read the reviews and I go for the popular books because I want them to be interested,” Rozelle said.

She also got input from students on the books they would like to read.

Rozelle said she expanded her classroom library and the time in class students spend reading, so students could actually finish the book.
“Studies have shown that the most successful students are those who spend the most time reading each day. Due to the high correlation between reading and student success, we begin each class period with independent reading time. Student choice is a key factor in getting students to stick with and finish their books, so I wanted to give my students access to books they enjoy so that they develop a life-long love of reading,” Bishop said.

Rozelle plans to find gently used copies of the titles she wants to make the grant funds go further.
Both teachers said their students are excited about getting new books. The teachers did not know they were grant recipients until the grant committee showed up at the school with the checks.

Media Specialist Sonya Jones also received a grant for $1,000 to help improve reading scores.