Winning ideas for your classroom

Grant Program

Grant Winners

See how Sheila King has designed and created a special reading place for her students.

Read about the parent and student nights designed by Marie Drazenovich to educate parents about Four-Blocks and to garner parents' support for literacy building.

Grant Program
Before the 2003-04 school year, this website offered an opportunity for teachers to submit a simple grant application to fund some of their classroom ideas. The intent of the grants was to promote the principals of Four-BlocksŪ instruction, provide sound educational experiences for students, and to spotlight creative ideas of teachers. In December, seven grants were funded for $500 each. Since January, these lucky teachers have been spending their grant money and implementing their ideas.

Nan Thompson, Audrey Cageao, Kathy VerHage, and Suzanne Carper, kindergarten teachers at Springfield Elementary School in Fort Mill, SC, intend to increase their collection of nursery rhyme teaching materials to help students in their Building Blocks classrooms. They've dreamed of two programs to achieve their goal. Twinkle, Twinkle Reading Star is a buddy reading program between the kindergarten students and the 5th grade students. They believe that having buddies read together and act out their books will spark enthusiasm for reading and learning about books-both for the kindergarteners and the 5th graders.

Their second program is Prime Time with Nursery Rhymes, allowing each student to compile a nursery rhyme notebook of rhymes, pictures, and writings. They'll culminate the production of these notebooks with a Young Authors' Tea to share with parents what their children have accomplished.

Sheila King, a first grade teacher at Cane Creek Elementary School in Cookeville, TN, along with her students, will receive money to design and create a special reading place for their classroom. While working together on this project, students will practice their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to become effective communicators. Sheila hopes that engaging students in the planning and construction of this project will create the ownership necessary to get them hooked on reading. Congratulations to Sheila and to Austin, Alayna, Kyle, Andrew, Kirkland, Jalbsa, Briana, Ethan, Lindsay, Christopher, Mason, Scott, Kayla, Elizabeth, Stetson, and Emily-all who signed the grant application!
Click here for details about her program

This grant is being partially funded by the generosity of Scholastic Publishing Company, Inc.

Karen Lawley, a first grade teacher at Bay Area Charter Elementary School in Seabrook, TX, plans to use her award money to create and implement a take-home reading program to complement and extend the Guided Reading Block. She's preparing excellent before, during, and after reading activities for families to do together after text has been introduced in class. She's setting aside some special share time daily to give students the opportunity to tell about their at-home experiences with the reading bags.

Kristine Tucker and Cathy Weaver, 3rd grade teachers at Merriam Avenue School in Newton, NJ, plan to implement a school-home connection program called The After-Dinner Mint Club. This idea was the outgrowth of a discussion regarding No Child Left Behind and just how these teachers could team with parents to extend reading opportunities for students. Kristine and Cathy will be busy constructing take-home packets of non-fiction books, graphic organizers, bookmarks of comprehension strategies and dinner mints to encourage after-dinner reading activities between parents and their children. The grant will furnish the books and these two teachers will furnish the mints!

This grant is being partially funded by the generosity of Scholastic Publishing Company, Inc.

Marie Drazenovich, Reading Specialist at Robert G. Reid Elementary School in Middletown, PA, will use her money to offer a series of four workshops for parents and children at her school. The workshops are designed to educate parents about Four-Blocks and to garner support from parents as productive, constructive partners in the literacy education of their children. The workshop titles will be: Reading with Your Child, based on good guided reading practices; Working with Words where parents will participate in typical words activities; Writing with Your Child where parents will learn about the writing process and appropriate writing activities; and Helping Your Child Choose Books to Read where strategies for book selecting will be demonstrated. The grant will provide books and materials to make this endeavor successful.
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Diane Hines, a 3rd grade teacher at Hillsboro Deering Elementary School in Hillsboro, NH, has always had a dream to have a children's book library to enhance her writing mini-lessons. Currently, she wishes to use specific recommendations in two books by Ralph Fletcher and a book by Katie Wood Ray to build her collection of anchor books for writing lessons. Diane believes that this reading-writing connection will "create a sense of wonder about writing, spark ideas, introduce and develop good writing traits to students, and give students the tools to produce quality pieces" based on the craft of skilled authors.

Reading Specialist, Cathy Striggow, along with intermediate teachers: Holly Morgan, Chuck Williamson, Chris Frink, Karen Miler, Johlynn Henry, and Debbie Trifler; and primary teachers: Patti Smith, Paula Wewer, Regina Freyberger, and Marla Stewart from Jefferson Elementary School in Ft. Riley, KS, want to host an event called "Popcorn, Pop and Pursuit" for parents and students at their school. The majority of the students at this school have parents deployed from Ft. Riley to Iraq. The teachers plan to demonstrate Four-Blocks to parents and community members along with an evening of popcorn and drinks, a trivial pursuit type of Q and A about favorite books, and reading between parents and their children. Children will get to carry home much needed books.

Congrats again to all of these teachers and to their students who'll reap the benefits!