School district taskforce to promote literacy awareness in Greencastle-Antrim

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Greencastle-Antrim School District Literacy Taskforce members who met for the initial meeting were: first row — Emily Brookens, Dana Divelbiss, Allyson Flynn, Melissa Shuey, Chad Stover; middle row — Molly Moran, Christine Reiber, Cathy Nicastro, Maggie Labutta, Angela Singer, Meagan Brockway, Georgina Cranston, So Marvich, Sheila Keller, Bob Crider, Mallory Kauffman; back row — James Thomas, Bill Doll, Lucy Schemel, Nicole Winslow, Jamie Reynolds, Andrea McCauley.

On Sept. 8, which coincidentally happened to be International Literacy Day, a group of educators, administrators and community members met in the Greencastle-Antrim Middle School Learning Resource Center as part of a newly-formed literacy taskforce. The group discussed promoting literacy and literacy awareness in the Greencastle-Antrim community.

Formed in response to the Greencastle-Antrim School District’s Keystones to Opportunity grant award, the taskforce will collaborate and implement strategies for advancing literacy within the community. The initial meeting was held to brainstorm and choose literacy projects to help draw attention to the importance of reading in everyday life and to encourage people of all ages to cultivate their own reading skills as well as encourage our youth to practice reading and increase literacy as a whole.

After spending time in smaller groups discussing various literacy-based project ideas, the group decided to pursue constructing and installing “Little Free Libraries” around and about the Greencastle-Antrim community and to promote literacy awareness through a signage campaign in businesses throughout the area.

Little Free Libraries are small book-filled boxes that are placed in conspicuous places around the area in which people may find books they may borrow to read. The idea is for one to take a book and leave a book, so that the box will constantly be rotating reading materials for everyone to enjoy.

The signage campaign will center on “catching” people reading and displaying posters and signs in businesses to depict how important reading is in every aspect of our daily lives.

Once the two projects were chosen by the group as a whole, the taskforce divided into two committees and began to make plans for getting the projects underway and ways to get the public involved.