Reading can take your imagination to another level and land you inside of a world you never thought existed. The magic of reading can transport you through the many ups-and-downs, empower us with knowledge, and open avenues where there are endless possibilities.
Tonya Bartlett, educator at Julian C. Gallardo Elementary, was looking to help engage her students who face reading challenges to join in on the incredible adventures books have to offer and advance their overall skill set. Thanks to Power of the Dollar® members, she was awarded a $1,000 grant in December 2022 for her “Books for Reluctant Readers” project, and provided a comforting journey into an enchanting world of inspiration by purchasing a Phonic Books Treasure Chest set from High Noon Books.
“They were excited when they saw the books,” said Bartlett. “It was really hard for them to narrow down which series they wanted to start with. They were excited when I was reading the back and they were like, ‘Oh that one sounds really good!’ They are just excited to read, so that’s a big change!”
Within the set of books, there are a series of different stories the children have a chance to explore, and with each series comes a workbook. The workbook is designed for the students to do an array of exercises pertaining to the story, which further aids in elevating their reading repertoire. When it’s time to stop, the kids are so into the story that they want to continue reading. The book set has been a big hit not just in her classroom but in others as well, with teachers calling in asking if they could borrow them. To no one’s surprise, the books have carried over the same excitement!
“They’re like, ‘Well, we need to know what happens next,’” she said. “There are two other teachers on campus that have reached out. Any time they want to take a series – I showed them the workbooks – just come grab it off my desk!”
Looking to help local schools, invest in your community, and support educators like Tonya Bartlett? Make a tangible, positive impact by joining the collective giving of our Power of the Dollar® membership. Learn more at www.firstmarkcu.org/checking, and together, we can create pathways that lead to better lives and stronger communities.