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Below is the copy of the grant that I applied for through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

Contact Information First Name (required) Last Name (required) Title (required) Address (required) City (required) State (required) Zip (required) Telephone Fax E-mail Address School Name (required) AKA Name Address (required) City (required) State (required) Zip (required) Telephone Fax Nearest Dollar General Store (required) IRS 501(c)3 Determination Letter How long has your school been in existence? (required) Type of School (required) Grade levels served (required) 8 years Public 6-8 13 1589 HIGHWAY 119 SOUTH SPRINGFIELD Georgia 31329 3004 9127547757 cdurden@effingham.k12.ga.us School Information Ebenezer Middle School Christie Durden Teacher/Media Specialist Intern 1589 HIGHWAY 119 SOUTH SPRINGFIELD Georgia 31329 3004 912754-7757

Overview Project Title (required) Requested Cash Amount (required) Number of individuals to be served by funding from this Back to School application (required) Projected Ethnicity Served (required) Audio Books Improve Reading Skills $5,000.00 30

12.00 African American 1.00 Asian/Pacific Islander 15.00 Caucasian 1.00 Hispanic 1.00 Multi-Racial 30.00 Total Below Grade Level Readers No

Project Target Audience (required) Have you received previous funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation? (required) Is this the first year of the project that you are requesting funding for? (required) Needs Statement (required)

Yes

Ebenezer Middle School is a relatively new school within the community. As such, we are not as well equipped with technology as many schools in our area. Each year, we can only add those technology items that are considered to be crucial to the operation of the school. In addition, we do not receive federal Title I funding that would enable us to purchase technology to increase student achievement like our sister school within our county is able to do. Although most of our students are considered middle class, we serve a diverse student population that includes those from poverty backgrounds, students with disabilities, and those that read far below

grade level. These students typically do not have access to the type of technology or the resources that would foster literacy skills at home. Our school and our media center operate on a minimal budget. This budget does not allow for the purchase of technology and resources that would help us implement a new literacy program within our school. Our district revenue per student is $9,368 which is far below the average state revenue per student of $11,392. Our school simply does not have the funds to provide for the literacy education that is so greatly needed by our students.

Project Purpose and Outcomes What is the unemployment rate? (required) As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for the area served is 9.2% as of January 2010

What is the high school graduation rate? As reported by the Georgia Department (required) of Education, the current high school graduation rate for our school system is 80%. The state average is 75.4%. What is the drop-out rate? (required) As reported by the Georgia Department of Education, the current high school drop-out rate for our school system is 20%. The state average is 25%. As reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, 9.9% of the student population being served lives below the poverty level. 31% The goal of this reading program is to increase the reading level of participants by at least one to two grade levels. This will be done by reinforcing reading skills and increasing vocabulary with the use of audio books. Using audio books is

What is the poverty level in the geographical area served? (required)

What is the free/reduced lunch rate at your school? (required) Project/Program Purpose (required)

a tested approach that can significantly improve reading comprehension and thus increase reading grade level. When students use audio books, they reinforce the two most effective methods for teaching reading: story telling and reading aloud. Reading aloud and story telling familiarizes students with the "sound and sense" of written language. Although resources purchased with the grant will be available for the reading enjoyment of all 951 students on campus, 30 below grade readers will be specifically targeted and given priority use of the materials. Audio books offer a way to recapture enthusiasm for reading. Because they are unable to read and understand at the academic level that most grade level books are written on, students become frustrated when trying to complete assignments in the classroom like reading. At Ebenezer Middle School, students are required to read and AR test on 4 books per nine week period. Students reading significantly below grade level have trouble keeping up with these academic requirements. They also tend to develop behavior problems designed to escape those academic requirements. Exposure to the correct reading methods and interesting, well-written books is the fastest way to reach high standards of literacy in our classrooms. Audio books can improve reading and academic performance among below grade level readers by offering this exposure to high quality, interesting books.

Project Design and Evaluation Project/Program Design (required) At Ebenezer Middle School, all students are required to participate in Accelerated Reader. This program utilizes the STAR reading program to determine the

students reading grade level. Once a student's grade level is determined, they may only read those books within their range. Even if a seventh grader registers at a first grade reading level, they may only check out first grade level books. For example, you may have a twelve year old student who is only allowed to check out simple stories called picture books because those are considered on their level. This creates two problems. One, middle school students do not want to read these types of books. They find them boring. They also are embarrassed to check these out of the media center or have them out during AR reading time in class. Two, students' reading abilities are not improved by reading books that are not stimulating and challenging. In order for students to obtain the vocabulary skills needed to progress to higher reading levels, they must read intellectually stimulating books. Thirty seventh graders reading below grade level will be selected for this project. Instead of reading the books allowed as part of the school's Accelerated Reader program, these seventh graders will read at or above grade level books. Students' reading will be scaffolded with audio recordings that they can use with the books. Printed text can be barrier for many students. There are very few modifications you can make to a printed book. The same book in digital form is much more flexible and offers the student access to the text. Timeline (required) Students will participate in the program for approximately 35 weeks. Each week students will be required to read for 50 minutes a day. 20 of those minutes will be assigned for in class reading. 30

minutes of reading will be completed at home. Measurable Results (required) Before the project begins, students' reading levels will be assessed using the STAR reading test. This test calculates the grade level reading ability of students. At the end of the program, the same test will be administered to determine the new reading level of the students. Students are expected to improve their reading levels by at least one to two grade levels. For comparison, the participants' results will be compared with the results of a randomly selected group of students reading below grade level and who are not participating in the program. In addition, the results of students participating in the program will be compared with the results of the general student population. The STAR reading test will be administered to participants before and after participation in the project. The STAR reading program is one of the most widely used reading assessment tools in education today. It boasts the following: * Accurately assess students' reading levels. * Determine accurate, reliable, normreferenced reading scores including grade equivalents, percentile ranks, and normal curve equivalents. * Determine the appropriate level of challenge for each student to personalize practice and individualize instruction. * Predict results on high-stakes, standardized tests, including ITBS, CAT, SAT, and TerraNova. * Track growth in student reading

Assessment Methods (required)

achievement longitudinally In addition, students' satisfaction will be determined with a short survey. This survey will be administered before and after participation in the project. Available Technology (required) At the present time, the media center has 15 computers to use along with this program. No other technology is available. 30 I-pod nanos will be used during the direct instruction of this program. Students will be assigned an I-pod. They will download audio books to their assigned I-pods. They will use the audio book to scaffold their reading of the hard copy of the book. $400.00 Books $1,800.00 I-pods $2,800.00 Audio Books $5,000.00 Total $1800.00 will be allocated to the purchase of I-pods. At a cost of $135.00 each, this will allow the 13 students who do not have their own I-pods to participate in the program. $2800.00 is allocated to the purchase of audio books in the form of mP3's and convertible CD's. $400.00 is allocated to the purchase of the hard copy of the audio books that are not currently on the media center's shelves. Ebenezer Middle School

Computers and Software (required)

Budget Information Budget Allocations (required)

Budget Narrative (required)

USA Patriot Act Counter-terrorism Compliance SCHOOL NAME: (required) Check the appropriate box to indicate your compliance with each of the following:

Patriot Act - Question 1 (required) Agree Patriot Act - Question 2 (required) Agree Patriot Act - Question 3 (required) Agree Patriot Act - Question 4 (required) Agree Patriot Act - Question 5 (required) Agree Patriot Act - Question 6 (required) Agree I certify on behalf of the school listed above that the foregoing is true. (required) I Agree Approval of Principal Name of Principal (required) Submission Approval (required)
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Ramona Lovett I Agree

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