New teachers receive free classroom libraries through GVSU literacy program
Posted on December 22, 2017
Recent graduates from the College of Education who are teaching in underserved Michigan public school districts received enough free books to establish a classroom library.
The free books were provided through the College of Education Michigan Literacy Project (MLP), which was established in 2014 by COE faculty members Sheryl Vlietstra and Megan Freudigmann. MLP provides classroom libraries to recent Grand Valley graduates all over the state who have been teaching three years or less in K-5 classrooms.
This year, 18 teachers received a $500 classroom library. On December 5, the teachers shopped for books at the Scholastic Book Fair Warehouse in Caledonia. COE faculty, staff members and graduate students, along with retired teachers, assisted in the shopping event.
Vlietstra said to a new teacher with limited financial resources, a box of books is "practically sacred." She said Grand Valley teacher graduates know what research says about connecting literacy to success, and the impact that a love of reading can have on a lifetime of decision-making.
"That’s why teachers so willingly spend their own pocket change to buy books," Vlietstra said. "Our work with The Michigan Literacy Project is critical, first in supporting our own graduates as they begin their teaching careers and second, in allowing a child, living in poverty, to crack open a book, to fall in love, to move forward and to make a difference."
For more information, contact Sheryl Vlietstra at (616) 331-6271 or submit an application at www.gvsu.edu/coe/MLP.