Making Friends at Book Club
Thursday | April 29, 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.

There are 10 mini-grants of $500 each available during the 2021-2022 school year. Entries must be submitted by May 14, 2021. This grant is available to any K-12 science, art, music or CTE classroom teacher if they teach at a qualifying school. A list of qualifying schools is available on the application that can be found here. Thanks to the generous donation from SPEC member Glenn Williamson, this is the first year we will be awarding a mini-grant to a CTE teacher.

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

Ida Cisneros is a reading teacher at Frenship Middle School and is a 2020-2021 Operation Round Up Mini-Grant recipient. With the mini-grant, Cisneros purchased multiple books to use in lunchtime book clubs.

Students were given realistic fiction titles to pick from, and groups were formed based on the students’ choices. These groups met weekly in the library for lunch. The format has varied as the students choose how they want to read the book. One of their groups asked if the librarian would read the book to them, so they met every day until the book was finished. Other groups set a goal for how much to read each week, and then they talked about it every Wednesday. 

“Middle-school students are learning to navigate academics, schedules, increased responsibilities, friendships, and their self-esteem while discovering who they are as a person. This is often overwhelming, but books can be a means to help alleviate fears and concerns when they read about characters like themselves,” Cisneros said. “One of the bonuses of these lunch groups, was the development of new friendships. Most of the students didn’t really know the other students in their club at the beginning. By the time the book was finished, they were good friends and were asking to be able to keep coming to eat lunch together.”

Thank you, South Plains Electric and Operation Round Up!