Thank you to the Plano Education Foundation and Toyota for the Pre-K Reading Zoo Buddies grant! This money will purchase board books for our Pre-K students and a mini stuffed animal. They will read to their stuffed animal at home. Awesome!
Since the Pre-Kindergarten class sizes at our campus continue to grow every year and it is important to encourage a strong literacy foundation for the youngest learners, the money for this grant will purchase Pre-K level library books to borrow and a mini stuffed animal (“Reading Zoo Buddy”) to keep at home. Since several students may be absent due to various illnesses, they will now have a “reading zoo buddy” to keep at home to encourage continuous reading. The student will return their book when they return to school but will keep their reading zoo buddy at home. Pre-Kindergarten library books will be purchased for students to check out to read to their zoo buddy. William Teale, president of the International Literacy Association, said that “when you pair reading with a toy or stuffed animal, kids become a part of the story. And they will start to show interest on their own.” (Teale, 2017) In the CNN Stuffed Animals Reading Study (Teale, 2017) he states that children reading to a stuffed animal causes them to… “look at pictures in a book, and they’ll start to use some of the words in the book.” We want the students to use reading to the stuffed animal at home to enhance their comfort with reading and to allow their skills to bloom.