Literacy over the summer

The Collierville Education Foundation promotes academic excellence by distributing grants that enrich Collierville students’ educational experience; however, our work doesn’t stop when the school year ends. Thanks to the ingenuity of Collierville educators, CEF was able to fund many of their innovative grants, including many that centered around reading. It is through these grants that students are able to foster a love for reading, one that will carry them through the summer and encourage them to continue to read – eliminating literacy loss.

Summer reading is extremely important, as it allows children to maintain and improve the skills learned during the school year. According to Scholastic, “A more recent study of children in 3rd to 5th grades also showed that students lost, on average, about 20 percent of their school-year gains in reading.” Encouraging students to read over the summer will reduce the risk of literacy loss and further light the love of reading sparked within them by Collierville Schools and its teachers.


Sycamore Elementary School teacher Lynn Rushdi, received two reading-related grants this year. Ms. Rushdi will use one of her CEF grants to purchase a set of diverse, updated nonfiction books for the school library. Ms. Rushdi, as well as Bailey Station Elementary School teacher Carrie Moore, will purchase a book vending machine to be placed in their schools’ respective libraries. Students will receive golden tokens for exemplary behavior, attendance and academic milestones, all of which can be used to select their very own book from the vending machine. Not only does this program reward academic excellence, it also adds an extra layer of fun and excitement to reading.


One of CEF’s Bailey Station Elementary School grant recipients, Jenell Flowers-Jones, will incorporate reading comprehension games into her classroom. The games consist of various puzzles and riddles that each focus on a different reading skill, boosting students’ reading comprehension and their classroom fun!


Crosswinds Elementary School teacher Valerie Meiners-Smith will use her CEF grant to purchase books with rich text that teach literary analysis and encourage students' abilities to lead rich book discussions. Additionally, these books offer motivation to Collierville students by incorporating an opportunity for students to choose the books they want to read, creating lifelong readers.


Reading can take a student to new dimensions, far off places, and even new levels of education. We are delighted to support education in Collierville by giving teachers the tools they need to help their students become the best readers they can be and teaching them to love every minute of it.


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