Local News

Rutland Northeast school receives $25,000 grant

By Victoria Gaither

Rutland’s Northeast Primary School students have benefitted a grant from the Children’s Literacy Foundation, also called CliF’s grant.

Courtesy Sarah Herron
Students at Northeast Primary put books in their bags.

The grant’s mission is to inspire kids’ love of reading, writing, and imagination.

“The CLiF Grant is a $25,000 that we received for Northeast Primary school last spring,” said Sarah Herron, CliFs coordinator. “ It features authors and illustrations from Vermont and New Hampshire to get kids excited about literacy, books, and reading.”

The program started back in 1998 by Duncan McDougall, who wanted to make a contribution to the world.

In the past years, he was a writer and teacher and saw firsthand how kids’ lives changed through literacy.

Because of the grant, the students have had children’s authors read to them in person, illustrators discuss art through zoom, and book giveaways throughout the school year.

Founder, Duncan McDougall, visited the students to help kick off the program.

Herron said books provide opportunities to kids and allows them to think, imagine, and dream.

“It’s important for the kids here, especially those that might not get the opportunity to see these authors and illustrators in their lives,” she said. “They get to see job opportunities that might not be available to them otherwise. It broadens their horizons.”

It also puts books directly in their hands.

“Every kid gets ten free books throughout the school year,” said Herron.

The kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from CLiFs. Teachers, parents, and volunteers see results.

One parent described how her son started to write poetry after getting a visit from Ted Scheu, The Poetry Guy, said Meredith Scott, CLiF program director.

Scott said that computer screen time isn’t the same as reading a book in hand.

“A book offers connection, calm, humor, learning, and even a physical closeness that is different from watching the same screen,” she said. “Even if you don’t read the book, you can talk about the pictures, make up your own stories, spark imagination, and find entry points.”

CLiF holds nearly 1,000 events each year in Vermont and New Hampshire.

On June 3 at Northeast Primary school is the finale program with a book giveaway and other surprises in store for students.

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