During the summer of 2021 FREE was the recipient of a Dollar General Literacy grant. This purpose of this grant is to provide classroom texts from the booklists provided in Florida’s ELA Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.).
A sampling of books were purchased prior to NEFEC's Summer Literacy Institute. These books were used to create unit plans as part of the instructional implementation from the professional learning event.
Teachers were brought back to content specific Rural Connect sessions with NEFEC beginning in September. As part of the Dollar General Grant teachers were provided with the book, Pablo Neruda, Poet of the People. The financial support allowed FREE to create an incentive to teachers for their attendance and continued participation in the Rural Connect Sessions. They will be able to spend an additional $400 each on books of their choice from the state booklist. These orders should be completed by the first of the year.
The state has an expectation that books from the list comprise 1/3 of the classroom instructional time. Through this grant and the partnership with NEFEC, teachers will be equipped to enhance their instruction with authentic grade level texts.