Wednesday, November 2, 2011

JLK Dolly Parton Literacy Grant presented to Pleasant Ridge Elementary School

The JLK Dolly Parton Literacy Grant was created to honor Dolly Parton and her efforts to promote early childhood literacy both locally and around the world. Grant applications were accepted from Knox County public schools, pre-schools and libraries demonstrating a need for funding to promote childhood literacy programs.  The $25,000 grant was awarded to Pleasant Ridge Elementary School on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 at 7:15 p.m. at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Pleasant Ridge Elementary School received the JLK Dolly Parton Literacy Grant to provide funding for their Destination Unlimited: Oh! The Places You’ll Go! program.  

This is a school-wide reading program geared toward assisting students, a majority of which are at-risk, in increasing reading achievement.  
The program consists of exposing students to different genres of literature, increasing children’s access and choice of books, increasing reading strategies among their students and promoting family involvement in developing successful readers.  
One of the most notable portions of their grant application was the rain gutter component.  
The schools’ Dad’s Club will install rain gutters in the classrooms, gym and cafeteria to serve as bookshelves.  This type of “shelving” is very economical and will allow the books to be displayed by their cover versus the spine of the book, therefore increasing the books’ appeal to children.  
Books will also be available in tubs on school busses so that the children can maximize wait time with learning opportunities.

“The Junior League of Knoxville is very pleased to support Pleasant Ridge Elementary School’s literacy initiatives.  Its imagination and ideas are exceptionally creative, and we can’t wait to see the school’s dreams become reality through the JLK Dolly Parton Literacy Grant,” said Tracy Morrow, JLK’s Executive Director.

The grant has been made possible by donations from a group of JLK Sustainers who have donated annually to the JLK’s Community Circle Annual Fund.  A list of Community Circle members can be found on the JLK’s website.