Leading, Loving and Learning Through Literacy

Pinchbeck Elementary

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Using lessons learned from virtual learning to more effectively reach diverse students, families and cultures of the school community through schoolwide classroom libraries that are inclusive and representative of the Pinchbeck community.

Since Pinchbeck staff does not represent the changing, diverse community in our student population and data from the 2019-20 classroom libraries survey indicates that many of our classroom libraries do not represent the families, cultures, or heritages of our students, it is important that we are intentional with providing “windows and mirrors” for our students at school. We also acknowledge that that pandemic has caused some students and families to feel isolated and separated from our school community.

Literature is a powerful way to connect people together as well as help see and understand varying perspectives. As more students re-enter our classrooms, it is our desire for them to see characters who look like them and their classmates depicted in the books found in the classroom. Doing so cultivates a feeling of belonging among our students and eventually our community. Such intentional efforts will help students who are struggling with underlying trauma as a result of the pandemic, as well as builds strong connections, broadens our understanding, enhances our instruction, and nurtures our school community.

Funding Amount: $4,550

Number impacted: 507

Grant recipient: Sara McCotter, Teacher

“This grant will add 15-20 new books to every classroom library school wide with titles that better represent our diverse community, in order to make stronger connections with our families. We are excited to be receiving literature that shows different cultures, races and family dynamics. Our desire is for students to see book characters that look like them and their classmates.

“The grant process allowed me to identify how I can better meet the needs of my students and their families. I was excited to be encouraged to take the project school wide, so every classroom will benefit. It was an amazing learning and growing experience for me personally and I am excited to see how connections will be made within our Pinchbeck families and staff. I would absolutely be interested in applying again!”
Sara McCotter, Teacher Pinchbeck Elementary - HEF Grant Recipient