Reads Thanks Its 2010-2011 Contributors
Bebe Freeman Teacher Grants Have Been Awarded to Three
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.
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
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."
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.