We are happy to report that each of our elementary schools has acquired hundreds more books for classroom libraries because of the success of a campaign that raised more than $40,000.
Over the last eighteen months, the Nashua School District has led the Lifelong Literacy Project at the elementary level to further the English language arts curriculum. To date, about 120 elementary teachers from each of the 12 elementary schools have received professional development, classroom materials and books to increase the number of non-fiction texts readily accessible by students. An additional professional development session is being planned for June 2015. Overall the Lifelong Literacy Project is designed to increase students' love for reading, for information and for pleasure.
Teachers involved in the initiative receive training on developing a balanced literacy block that incorporates best practices in teaching literacy, a focus on developing lifelong literacy skills among the students and bringing to students a richer classroom library. Each teacher involved in the initiative receives four professional development books along with a large number of books that complement the science and social studies lessons taught at their grade level. A portion of the books are also being delivered to each school library to help stock their shelves with these great resources. Teachers are also receiving training that involves moving from whole class instruction during reading time, to incorporating mini lessons with more opportunities for small group and individual practice by the students.
Our students have responded enthusiastically and are enjoying the change from a single text book for reading instruction to being more independent and having choices in what they are reading. Teachers are loving being able to integrate social studies and science topics into their English language arts blocks and reach individual students more frequently and at their independent reading levels.
The Nashua Board of Education has been particularly supportive, approving funding for the project. Our elementary classroom teachers are also grateful to those individuals who supported the initiative by attending book fairs hosted last year at Barnes and Noble Booksellers-Nashua, and helping to raise $40,000 for the purchase of hundreds of new books for the classrooms. Our warmest thanks to our business partners as well for contributing to the campaign: Barnes & Noble Booksellers-Nashua, BAE Systems, Enterprise Bank and Fidelity Investments.