The National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi has awarded a Literacy Grant of more than $500 to Homer High School. The grant monies are being used to fund a new program called “Play Your Way to Higher Test Scores.” This project is part of a literacy initiative to improve reading and critical thinking skills through the use of educational games that stress spelling and vocabulary. Grant funds are being used to build literacy kits containing dictionaries and board games such as Scrabble, Taboo, and Apples to Apples. The literacy kits, designed to enhance reading comprehension skills in a competitive format, will challenge students, making dictionary skills part of the fun learning process. In an effort to promote critical thinking skills, which are an important part of test-taking strategies, funds have also been used to purchase chess and checkers sets, since these games build essential skills such as predicting cause and effect, strategy and planning, and reason and logic. As part of the project, the school library has dedicated space to the creation of a Literacy Learning Center, a comfortable seating area with game tables and storage for the literacy kits. The Literacy Learning Center, designed to encourage reading and promote use of the school library, will provide students with a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere for educational activities, not just during class, but also before school, at lunch recess, and after school.
Pictured here in the new Literacy Learning Center, Homer High School students practice their chess skills at lunch recess. From left to right, Cody Long, Brittany Sandifer, Jared Butts, Chandler Glanc, Dwaynasia Webb, and Summer Banuelos.