Keep BooksŪ: A School-Home Partnership

A Staff-Development Project Proposed by Patricia L. Scharer,

Associate Professor and Literacy Collaborative Trainer

The Ohio State University

For the past two years, research projects funded through the OSU/USI initiative have studied the effects of KEEP Books in kindergarten classrooms. During Year 1, we interviewed parents and teachers periodically throughout the school year and documented their enthusiasm for these little books. Parents reported their perceptions that their children were reading earlier and demonstrated excitement, independence, and ownership as they read and reread their KEEP Books at home. Teachers appreciated the text characteristics that made independent reading possible for kindergarten children. We are currently analyzing data collected during the 2000-2001 school year during weekly classroom observations of four case study children in six classrooms to further examine the role of KEEP Books in developing reading and writing skills during the kindergarten year.

This staff development proposal builds on the two research studies by providing the resources for kindergarten and first grade teachers to implement a school-home project using the KEEP Books. Each teacher attending a one-day training session in August will receive a classroom set of KEEP Books for use during the 2001-2002 school year. The training session will be held at the Literacy Collaborative headquarters at 807 Kinnear Rd. in Columbus on August 15. (August 14 is also available if a second session is needed.) This location is easily accessible from Rt. 315 with free parking. Teachers attending the 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. training session will learn how to help parents learn about KEEP Books, how to introduce KEEP Books to their students, how to support early reading strategies using the KEEP Books, and how to select the most appropriate book to match students’ needs.

The session will be led by Patricia L. Scharer (OSU Associate Professor and Literacy Collaborative trainer), Mary Fried, Literacy Collaborative trainer, Sharan Gibson (OSU doctoral student), Allyson VanOrder (OSU doctoral student), and a group of kindergarten and first grade teachers experienced at using KEEP Books in their classrooms. At the end of the training session, teachers will select KEEP Books for their students and take their boxes of books at that time. Teachers will receive a brief program evaluation survey in April 2002 to complete and return to Pat Scharer to document the effectiveness of KEEP Books in their classroom.

The training fee of $75 for each teacher includes continental breakfast and handouts. Registration would be organized through OSU/USI. A 90-minute lunch break will allow participants to go out for lunch. Materials fees for KEEP Books for each teacher will vary according to the number of titles provided for each classroom of 25 children--$200 for 32 titles (800 books); $300 for 48 titles (1,200 books). The large training room at the Literacy Collaborative headquarters can accommodate up to 100 teachers each day. The following budgets are based on 100 teachers for one day:

Budget with 32 titles: Budget with 48 titles:

Training fee @ $75 $7,500   Training fee @ $75 $7,500
KEEP Books

32 titles

$20,000   KEEP Books 48 titles $30,000
Total for 100 K-1 teachers $27,500   Total for 100 K-1 teachers $37,500

This inservice will be open to K-1 teachers, primary special education teachers, literacy coordinators, and principals from the four USI districts.