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Fresh approach to instruction earns Grand Falls-Windsor teacher an award

KinderLiteracy was a focus for Forest Park Primary teacher Heather Hayley this year and thanks to a financial award, she will be able to further develop a program designed to provide access to appropriate reading material. Pictured are (front, from left) Gavin Howell, Sarah Reid, Hayley, Macie Currie, Lily King; (back) Camron Whiffen, Divine Degamo, Harrison Chaulk, Norah Parsons, Cole Haggett, Emma Seaward, Sheldon Peyton and Carter Champion.
KinderLiteracy was a focus for Forest Park Primary teacher Heather Hayley this year and thanks to a financial award, she will be able to further develop a program designed to provide access to appropriate reading material. Pictured are (front, from left) Gavin Howell, Sarah Reid, Hayley, Macie Currie, Lily King; (back) Camron Whiffen, Divine Degamo, Harrison Chaulk, Norah Parsons, Cole Haggett, Emma Seaward, Sheldon Peyton and Carter Champion.

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL-Some good old-fashioned ingenuity has earned a Grand Falls-Windsor teacher, and her school, some reward.

Forest Park Primary school teacher Heather Hayley received a NL Education Foundation grant for her work on KinderLiteracy.

Inspired by participation in a district-sponsored Professional Learning Community and implementing the Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading Program, Hayley identified lacking available resources at the emergent reading level as an obstacle to implementation at the kindergarten level.

Determined to allow children opportunities to self-select and explore developmentally appropriate materials, she collaborated with colleagues and explored organization of school-based resources to begin the initiative, a press release from the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District stated.

The award monies will be used to purchase materials such as; wordless picture books, emergency readers at levels A-C, a listening centre where children can listen to self-selected fluent readings of favourite children's literature, a subscription to High Five and Chirp magazines, big books and flannel board sets for exploring and re-telling narratives, as well as additional materials to support literacy activities and the guided reading program.

It was noted in the announcement that if children are offered developmentally appropriate choices at this early and critical stage of literacy development, Hayley hopes that it will support children in making good choices, recognizing and guiding their own development as readers and support further development of self-regulation.

“The choices to be made were certainly difficult, as each teacher put an amazing effort into their applications detailing some truly inspired projects,” said Wayne Lee, trustee and chair of the Education Foundation. “The committee reviewed some great projects that sought to engage young learners through approaches including flexible classrooms, mental health awareness and mindfulness, 21st century technology and more, and the Education Foundation is pleased to provide support for the projects announced today.”

Successful NL Educator’s Innovation Award winners receive $2,500 to assist in the project’s ongoing efforts and help further the work underway at the school. Recipient also commit to providing professional learning for fellow teachers.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Education Foundation, Inc. is a registered, charitable organization committed to enhancing the education experience of students in the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District. Funding for projects such as the Innovation Awards and Grants Program and the Provincial Scholarships Program come from Foundation fundraising initiatives such as staff 50/50 raffles and donations.

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