NEWS & MEDIA

Grant from Dollar General to aid Southeastern literacy program

Monday, November 30, 2015Dollar General Literacy Grant
by: Rene Abadie

PROJECT ROAR IN ACTION – Hammond public school students, from left, Demetri Anderson, Quastavia Dunn and Ayaea Rose practice their reading while Southeastern graduate student Brandy Siears of Gonzales and Dru Willis, a junior from Slidell, monitor their progress. Dollar General Literacy Foundation contributed $4,000 to the after school literacy project, in which Southeastern  education students work closely with area middle school students on improving their reading abilities.


     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University has received a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support a youth literacy program.
     The $4,000 grant will help support Project Roar (“Rediscovering Opportunities and Attitudes toward Reading”), a program for middle-school children that is sponsored by the College of Education’s Department of Teaching and Learning.
     This is the second year for the program, explained Gerlinde Beckers, assistant professor of education and coordinator of the project, which provides and expands literacy intervention for children attending high-poverty schools.
     Beckers said Project Roar coordinates book clubs guided by university pre-service teacher candidates who are enrolled in undergraduate adolescent literature courses.
     “For Southeastern students, this is an ideal real-world ready service learning project. They are able to learn exactly what is taught in their coursework through a practical, hands-on experience with middle school students,” Beckers said.
     Approximately 40-60 students will be able to participate and utilize Kindles made available for the book club. The one-day per week program is held at the Hammond Community Center after-school program through Project LION (“Learning in our Neighborhood”). Project LION is a community partnership sponsored by the Entergy Charitable Foundation through an additional grant to Beckers.
     “For adolescents to become more proficient readers, they must read and read a lot,” she explained. “This is a way that we can combat the trend of declining reading among this age group and address issues of reading engagement and motivation.”
     Project Roar’s second year is expected to build on the successes of last year by increasing the number of Kindles and ebooks. For more information, contact Beckers at 985-549-3030.
     The Dollar General Literacy Foundation supports initiatives designed to enhance literacy and education projects. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations.




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