Our Grants - Language Arts & Literacy

Authors in Schools: Alan Gratz visit

The grant for the Authors in Schools program brought award-winning author Alan Gratz to Columbia for a special event with CPS middle school students in April. The Foundation’s grant provided a copy of a Gratz book for each fifth and seventh grade CPS student. Gratz is a New York Times bestselling author of 20 novels and graphic novels for young readers. The grant also provided funding for bus transportation to the event and for the author visit and talk by Gratz. The keynote at Missouri Theater was part of a partnership with the Unbound Book Festival.


Authors in Schools

Students from all six CPS middle schools were bused to the Missouri Theater to hear Jacqueline Woodson speak on April 19, 2019, as part of the Unbound Book Festival. The grant provided Woodson’s books for all the middle schools as well as transportation for students to the festival.

Grant Funds Requested: $5,000

Authors in Schools

The Foundation grant provided funds for author visits to CPS schools as well as materials for students to read books by the authors prior to the visits. Authors visited students at Shepard, New Haven, Ridgeway, Fairview and Blue Ridge Elementary Schools; Oakland, Gentry and West Middle Schools; and all four CPS high schools, Hickman, Battle, Rock Bridge and Douglass. The Authors in Schools program is part of the Unbound Book Festival.

Grant Funds Requested: $15,000

Ragtag Film Society Media Literacy Initiative

An initiative of the Ragtag Film Society, the umbrella organization of True/False Film Fest and Ragtag Cinema. The grant provides teachers with media literacy instructional strategies and materials and provides students with skills to be thoughtful, critical consumers of media. The grant funds will supplement Columbia Public Schools (CPS) core curriculum by providing screening rights for films and training for teachers to incorporate film into the classroom. Learning will be enhanced through extracurricular experiences, including year-round field trips to Ragtag Cinema for film screenings and a free film screening and filmmaker Q&A at the True/False Film Fest.

Grant Funds Requested: $114,300* over a three year period

Author Visits and Novels to Engage Middle School Readers

Supports literary initiatives at the middle school level impacting nearly 4,000 students. The selected young adult novels – which include Jason Reynolds’ “As Brave As You” and “Ghost,” and K.A. Holt’s “Rhyme Schemer,” “House Arrest” and “Red Moon Rising” – will be available in novel and audio format at each of the six CPS middle schools. In addition to supplying the novels, the grant provides for in-person author visits from both Reynolds and Holt at each middle school.

Grant Funds Requested: $20,000

Mobile Libraries to Engage Middle School Readers

This proposal provides a variety of leveled, high-interest books for students to read during weekly school-wide sustained silent reading (SSR) time in their 6th-8th grade Advisory classes. In addition to providing the opportunity for students to actively read for enjoyment and building of background knowledge, the various literacy committees and reading specialists in each middle school building will ensure that these texts are available for read-alouds both during Advisory classes and in content area classes.

iRead to Succeed

The CPS “iRead to Succeed!” grant will provide each CPS Middle School Reading Intervention program with a set of 10 iPad Mini devices that can be used to engage struggling students in the reading of digital texts that have been custom-tailored to their interests and ability level (through online software that creates a personalized reader profile) and to frequently and efficiently evaluate student progress using online assessment tools that provide timely diagnostic information that teachers can use to tailor their intervention instruction to maximize student gains and more effectively combat the achievement gap in literacy.

Grant Funds Requested: $18,240

CCSS @ Your Media Center and Beyond

The focus of this grant is to establish a core non-fiction electronic book (eBook) collection for the four senior high schools in Columbia. As mobile computing becomes more ubiquitous, and with the move to online and electronic resources for different content areas, having a robust eBook collection that will meet the needs of our students and teachers is essential. For the 2013-2014 school year, all four high schools will have ninth through twelfth grade students, except for the new high school which will gain a senior class during the second year. This move to four-grade level buildings will require schools to build up their current library collections to support the curriculums of the incoming ninth grade classes while also offering materials in a variety of formats. Our hope is to allow our students to access the Library Media Center’s resources from anywhere at any time, allowing learning to happen outside of the walls of our school.

Grant Funds Requested: $12,000.00

Digital Reading Partnerships

This grant provides resources to engage Blue Ridge and Parkade students in personalized, high quality reading materials at anytime and from any location. Through the use of the Kindle Fires, students and their families will have access to myON Reader, Study Island and TumbleBook Library at both school and at home. The Kindle Fires will provide access to all three instructional resources allowing students and parents to become partners in improving reading proficiency.

Grant Funds Requested: $24,640

Creating Modern School Library Programs in Columbia Public Schools

This grant provides funds to CPS intermediate libraries to purchase needed materials to bring the libraries up to date for the 2013-14 transition. Currently, middle school libraries are aligned with the 6th and 7th grade curriculum and junior high libraries are aligned for the 8th and 9th grade curriculum. All six libraries need to be aligned for 6th – 8th grade curriculum starting with the 2013-14 school year. These libraries will need both content area resources and books for reading pleasure in order to encourage academic achievement and enhance learning opportunities for all 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in CPS.

Grant Funds Requested: $20,000
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