First Public School Proud Grant Announced

Stephanie Gongopoulos, Sharon Schueler, Tim Gergel, and Holly Renken at Patrick Henry Middle School

To kick off the 2022 Public School Proud Grant season, the Education Foundation celebrated three teachers at Patrick Henry Middle School. Holly Renken, Tim Gergel, and Amy Johnson received $869.10 for their grant, “Supporting Reluctant Readers with Graphic Novels.” This grant will support 60 students, and the educators wrote, “Graphic novels are extremely popular. These books fly off the shelf in the library. Having another way to support the students in their learning is always innovative. Differentiation allows for the student to have success while in the classroom.”

Each year, seventh graders participate in literature exploration in the area of social injustice. Students form literature circles and book clubs to explore stories of inequalities around the world. Throughout the last several years, educators have noticed that students need more support with the assigned reading. These three teachers wanted to add graphic novels to further support and engage their readers. The books are nonfiction or historical fiction.

They wrote, “We hope that the students who normally struggle through novel studies will find support in their reading. We want them to participate in communication and collaboration with their peers and be able to explore ideas in a deeper way, but still feel successful with reading the content.”

The Education Foundation will award more than 50 Public School Proud Grants, totaling $120,000 before the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

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