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Starkville Reads Thanks Its 2010-2011 Contributors

2011-2012 Bebe Freeman Teacher Grants Have Been Awarded to Three Area Teachers!

(left to right) Starkville Reads Treasurer Joel Okula, winner Kathy Smith of Sudduth Elementary, Bonnie Feig of Starkville Reads, winner Susan Allen of Oktibbeha County Schools, Ellie Goodman of Starkville Reads, and winner Brooklyn Fericks-Kiel, also of Sudduth.

Bebe Freeman Fund grants have been awarded to three public school teachers, Susan Allen, Kathy Smith, and Brooklyn Fericks-Kiel, Since 2008 Bebe Freeman Fund grants, named in memory of the former Starkville resident and public school teacher, have been awarded annually by Starkville Reads to area public school teachers to support small projects to encourage student reading.

Susan Allen, librarian for the Oktibbeha County Schools, noted in her application that, " in today's distracting world it is difficult to get students to read . Our school teachers are always searching for materials they can use in the classroom to promote reading." She has found that a beneficial approach to making reading more attractive to students is to have them read books together. She is using her grant to purchase inexpensive sets of paperback books for the libraries at East and West Oktibbeha County High Schools so that classes can read books together as a class.

Kathy Smith, first grade teacher at Sudduth Elementary School, noted in her application, "As a first grade teacher, I absolutely enjoy seeing students engaged in reading. In my reading class, the students love having their turn to read aloud to the class. The solo reader is showered with cheers after he/she reads, and this boosts students’ morale about their reading. " Smith is using her grant to purchase a children's puppet theater and spotlight lamp. The idea is that "the solo readers will sit behind the puppet theater with the curtains drawn back to display his/her reading with fluency and expression. The remainder of the class will sit on our classroom rug around the puppet theater and listen to the solo reader in the spotlight. I know this will motivate students to practice reading and to read more."

Brooklyn Frericks-Kiel, a preschool teacher at Sudduth Elementary School, entitled her project Rhyme Rhythm and Reading. She noted , "Rhyme, Rhythm, and Reading aims to take advantage of the natural desire children have to sing songs and play with puppets to help them learn reading skills. Currently, my preschool class contains ten students with a variety of disabilities. Two students are nonverbal but are beginning to make sounds and humming noises when we sing songs. The remaining students may be able to listen to the story, but they often have difficulty remembering anything about the story we read. Using this grant, I will purchase a Monkey Mitt and Storytelling set to give students a more hands-on and memorable approach to reading stories."

Starkville Reads president Marty Friend announced that an anonymous donor is also giving each of the winning teachers a $50 gift certificate in addition to the $250 grants each received for her classroom.



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Updated January 21, 2012
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