They walked into Target looking for school supplies. But the two Terraset Elementary School teachers left the store holding the ticket to a $1,500 grant.
Last May, MaryAnne Capets and Margie Henry, both national board certified instructors, submitted a Target grant application for a reading project they developed.
Last week, they found out Target awarded the school $1,500 to support their project.
“We wanted to do something to help support parents to read with their kids,” said Henry, a multiage classroom teacher. “That’s something we know can improve scores and help students become lifelong learners.”
IN ESSENCE, the two teachers created a book club for parents to be held once a month. “We will help introduce some of the books and then parents can check them out,” said Henry.
They called the program “Parents as Readers: K-3 Reading Program.”
According to Principal Ellen Cury, both teachers often go out of their way to strengthen instruction and the curriculum at Terraset.
“They’re always looking for new and different ways to make a difference at our school,” said Cury, who had issued her own prognostication about the grant earlier in the year. “I said, ‘I bet you’re going to get it,’”
EVEN BEFORE receiving the grant, the pair of teachers began working with reading teachers and other staff, including the school librarian, Josie Stanmyre, to compile a list of books to use for the project.
“We’d like to start [the project] in October and go on towards the end of the year,” said Capets, a third-grade teacher. “And hopefully carry it out into the next year.”
As a footnote, the teachers credit another Fairfax County teacher turned author, Carleen Payne, for planting the seeds for the project idea.
In her book, “Shared Reading for Today’s Classroom,” Payne advocates more parent involvement to improve reading ability.