Return to Headlines

Ames Teacher Funds Class Library

Students in Ms. Silver’s classes are able to enjoy a little more extra comfort and excitement in reading after she received a fully granted Donors Choose project in November, 2019. The Donors Choose project was submitted to purchase materials to enhance the FVR (Free Volunteer Reading) program for her students. 

The project was fully supported through the generous support of a foundation located in California called "CAA Foundation.” Ms. Silver was able to purchase many new readers, bookshelves, giant bean bag chairs, and other items to create a tranquil and positive space in the classroom for students to read books completely in Spanish. Students are gaining confidence and acquiring so much more language through the readers.

The key to building fluency and vocabulary in any language is to complement oral communication with reading. Numerous studies show the gains in fluency through self-selected reading for pleasure. With an extended library of books written for language students at their fingertips, students are able to choose books for silent reading (or even voluntary reading at home) that are compelling for them. Having a variety of books at different skill levels, topics, and types, written for language learners in Spanish that are comprehensible, are integral for students to become absorbed by the story.

Sometimes they do not even realize they are reading in another language! Reading not only improves their literacy skills and grammar, but also provides cultural insight. The benefits from silent reading are tremendous: Increased proficiency in the language, a boost in confidence, and the potential for a lifelong love of reading.
Along with compelling and comprehensible novels, creating a comfortable and warm reading environment encourages a positive and successful experience. The FVR environment now includes a more organized area with bookshelves and bins for students to choose which books they want to read, as well as bean bag type chairs for students to sit on while they read, and even calming essential oils to create a more tranquil environment.