Improving Reading Skills
Tuesday | July 6, 2021

The Operation Round Up Board of Directors created a mini-grant program to help teachers with classroom projects or educational field trips. Operation Round Up approved another three-year cycle of teacher mini-grants.

Nineteen teachers received grants for their reading or social studies classroom projects for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Sharla Powell is a reading resource teacher at Roosevelt Elementary and is a 2020-2021 Operation Round Up Mini-Grant recipient. Powell purchased curriculum and leveled readers to address her students’ phonemic and phonological awareness deficits. 

Students in Powell’s class have varying degrees of disabilities ranging from intellectual challenges to high-functioning autism. The common problem that Powell found with the majority of her students was their inability to understand that words are made up of sounds. Based on research, students learn to identify sounds through both oral and auditory activities. When given this type of direct instruction, along with seeing it in text, they start to understand that sounds correlate with letters in words. Having this knowledge directly impacts their decoding, spelling, and writing in all areas of academics.

“Based on what my students’ general education reading teachers have shared with me, they are making progress in their classrooms,” Powell said. “Thank you so much again for your desire to support all students and allowing me the opportunity to make a life-long difference in my students’ lives.”