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Schools focus on making literacy fun in the summer

Angel OakRELEASE DATE: May 16, 2023

Two Charleston County School District (CCSD) elementary  schools, Angel Oak Elementary School and Chicora Elementary School, have been awarded a $3,000 Summer Reading Grant from Dollar General to keep students  reading throughout the summer. 

Twelve grants were awarded in South Carolina; the grants in CCSD were the only ones in the Tri-county area. 

Angel Oak’s teacher librarian, Jennie Church, applied for the grant to provide families with STEAM Literacy Packs that can be checked out for the summer. The  Literacy Packs will contain materials in English and Spanish so all families, including multilingual families, will have hands-on learning materials. 

“Our goal for the summer STEAM Literacy Packs is to avoid summer learning loss by increasing hands-on literacy, giving families new ways to make reading fun, and encouraging student-led inquiry,” said Church.  

Each STEAM Literacy Pack will include 11 classic fairy tale stories (bilingual) so  families can read one story together per week. Toys such as puppets to integrate arts and literacy; engineering tools such as blocks or magna-tiles for problem-solving; and a family-friendly game for social and emotional learning (SEL) will also  be included. 

Chicora Elementary School’s fourth-grade teacher, Angela Page, wrote the grant for the school’s summer camp. The no-cost summer camp will enroll 100 students for six weeks. Students will have two hours of reading instruction each day. Every student will get their own books that they can then take home. The grant will also provide incentives to motivate and reward students for their hard work over the summer. 

“With these additional literacy resources, we hope to prevent the ‘summer slide’ and continue to close the achievement gap” stated Page. 

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has multiple grants available to schools including a family literacy grant and a youth literacy grant. All schools are eligible to apply. Dollar General accepts grant applications each winter.