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Oconto Falls Elementary School Receives Grant

Four-year-old students at Oconto Falls Elementary School are excited to be taking home books and accompanying activities to use as the OFES 4K School to Home Language Project gets underway. In spring 2023, Pamela Jackson and Alison Clausen (4K teachers), along with Crystal Beaman (Reading Specialist) wrote a grant proposal requesting money to purchase books and accompanying activities from the Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation. Oconto Falls Elementary 4-year-old kindergarten was awarded grant monies to purchase 30 different book titles along with activities that matched book topics. The OFES 4K School to Home Language Project was designed to provide ALL Oconto Falls 4K families with opportunities to build language skills as parents/guardians read with their children and engage in quality conversations through play.
Each week, 4K students take home a small backpack with a book and activity. Parents/guardians and students are encouraged to use the materials for 5-6 days. These books and activities were intended to promote positive home and school connections. Access to quality children’s literature and activities is intended to remove barriers and increase literacy. When families return materials to school, they receive another backpack with a new book and activity on a rotating schedule. By engaging with these materials, parents/guardians help to build oral language skills through speaking and listening. Oral language skills are the building blocks for later reading and writing skills. Crystal Beaman and the 4K team spent time during open house presenting parents/guardians with information on how the human brain learns to read. Hearing words helps children build an understanding for new concepts and makes students aware of individual sounds in words. Students that can recognize individual sounds in words are later able to connect letter(s) to those sounds for reading and spelling. Promoting literacy experiences and exploration will impact students’ future learning success.