IES fundraiser will provide books for beginning readers

NORTH SHELBY – Inverness Elementary School is collecting funds for an effort to provide needed books for beginning readers.

An online fundraiser would provide 400 book titles and more than 4,000 total books, IES Assistant Principal Amanda Hamm said.

“One of our favorite things about kindergarten is watching our youngest learners in our school become readers! It is so exciting to watch their lightbulbs go off as they start putting isolated skills into practice in text and realize that THEY CAN READ!” reads the project page on DonorsChoose.org.

Hamm posted the cause to Donors Choose, an online fundraising platform that works with schools.

“We have really been focusing on literacy,” Hamm said and noted that certain books are more beneficial in helping children learn to read. “It’s a science to teach kids to read. Our kindergarten teachers carefully plan their lessons each day and pick books that will reinforce the skills they are teaching. It is extremely important to have lower-level texts to support growing readers in our classrooms. These levels of text target specific skills such as sight word recognition, print concepts, and picture and text matching.”

So Hamm met with kindergarten teachers about the books they needed—genres, reading levels, specific titles and their costs. Printed copies are preferred because they are more immersive for students.

“They said that has consistently been one of their needs,” said Hamm, a former kindergarten teacher herself who has also served as a reading coach at IES.

The decision to use Donors Choose as the fundraising platform was made in part because Donors Choose regularly has special days where an anonymous donor will match half of donations made.

“We felt like that was a great time to try to maximize this need we have,” Hamm said.

With the promise of matching donations, a total of $1,500 was collected on one day in December 2019.

“The support poured in for the project on that day,” Hamm said.

As of Jan. 23, the drive is $2,387 short of its goal of $4,026.

The drive ends March 21. If the goal has not been met by then, donors will have the option of re-routing their funds to another project, and Inverness Elementary would consider a new effort with a smaller goal, Hamm said.

Inverness Elementary School has two other projects being funded through Donors Choose. Find out more information about those projects, and make donations, by visiting DonorsChoose.org and searching for Inverness Elementary School.