The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

January 13, 2010

Kroger grant helps build early reading library

Check for $4,400 will be used to buy new books for Tenth Street students

ANDERSON, Ind.­ — Spencer Pierce had the inside story about how his mom was going to help Tenth Street Elementary first-graders learn how to read.

His mom, Jessie Burns-Pierce, remembered how the second-grader came home from a recent school day. “He said, ‘Guess what. You’re bringing a big check to school.’”

Burns-Pierce, a community ambassador at the Cross Street Pay Less Super Market, joined officials from the Kroger Foundation who did bring a big check to the school last week — one for $4,440 that will be used to buy new books for children in grades K-2 who are just learning to read.

“These are children we feed and we need to feed their minds as well,” said Coco Bill, a member of Kroger’s charitable trust committee who was among those who presented the check in Karen Thompson’s first-grade classroom.

Administrative intern Michille Lemaster and Tenth Street assistant principal Milissa Crum wrote the grant that Burns-Pierce helped secure for the school. Because the school doesn’t fully qualify as a Title I school that would entitle it to more funding for early-literacy programs, the money fills an important need.

“We haven’t had money for an early-literacy library for K-2,” principal Mark Hodson said. The grant money will help build that library.

“These guys, they just need lots of good stories,” Lemaster said as she led a reading group. First-graders sat at a small table and answered questions about the book they had been reading.

In this case it was “Danny’s Castle,” one of a series of small, colorful readers written by an educator who uses his dog Danny and other pooches to tell stories that help students learn to read and improve their abilities.

And first-graders seem to love Danny books — and talking about Danny.

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