Monument awarded $1,000 literacy grant

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BENNINGTON — A daily reading program continues going strong at Monument Elementary School, thanks to a literacy grant.

The grant of $1,000 from Vermont Reading Partners, a Manchester-based nonprofit, will be used to replenish books for the school's Partners in Reading program.

Partners in Reading is a daily reading program for kindergartners through third-graders with the goal of cultivating a habit of daily reading through providing families regular access to books, according to a media release from the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union.

Students take a book home each evening, to read with family or guardians, said Donna Cauley, principal.

"So you can see how it really does foster that love of learning and reading, not only in our school setting, but also in our home settings," she said.

Each student in the program receives a personalized reading bag containing a book and reading log. Because the books are circulated on a daily basis, they are subject to significant wear and tear, according to the release.

The grant will assist the school in purchasing new books for the program. Cauley said she believes that book order has been placed.

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The school plans to add the new books into circulation as soon as they come in, she said.

Kirsti Edwards, who coordinates the Partners in Reading program at Monument, applied for the grant, which was awarded last spring.

The program reaches over 100 students yearly, and has for seven years running, according to the release.

Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union officials have identified literacy as a key focus for the supervisory union, with multiple initiatives launched to support that effort, including partnerships with Hill Literacy, literacy coaches and materials to support literacy instruction.

Cauley said the school wants to see children improve in all instructional areas. But there's something unique about reading.

"When you have a love of reading, and you're able to read — that's endless," she said. "Essentially, reading is the key to learning, and that just opens up the doors for all children to reach their goals and enjoy learning at school."

Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at, at @BAN_pleboeuf on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 118.


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