ShareThis Page

Clairton students benefit from teacher's book initiative

| Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, 11:36 a.m.
First-graders Tura Robinson,Bryant Goldsmith, Aliyah Plummer and Syleidy Mendez enjoy quiet reading time in class.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
First-graders Tura Robinson,Bryant Goldsmith, Aliyah Plummer and Syleidy Mendez enjoy quiet reading time in class.
Kristi Schweitzer helps first-grade students Amaud Berry and Tanaira Chapman choose books based on their reading level.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Kristi Schweitzer helps first-grade students Amaud Berry and Tanaira Chapman choose books based on their reading level.

Clairton Elementary teacher Kristi Schweitzer is using online fundraising resources to purchase tools for her classroom.

In developing a program she calls “Books for First-Grade Buddies,” Schweitzer searched for leveled readers so that students would have access to a large number of books during independent reading sessions.

She registered with donorschoose.org, and logged a request for books — and bins to store them — that allow students to read for enjoyment and reach individual milestones within their grade level.

She raised $850, enough to fully fund a project that she says has students excited about books.

Picking up selections at a variety of skill levels on subjects ranging from dinosaurs to the outdoors, students are engaged and challenged appropriately.

“They can go anywhere in the room and read books that are at their level,” Schweitzer said. “Every week, they can swap their books and get new ones.”

Many teachers must reach into their own pockets to provide beyond traditional textbooks. Schweitzer said the project seemed like something that would draw attention from former educators and potential donors who have an interest in helping children in low-income communities. Funds came to Clairton from as far as Puerto Rico.

“This resource is helpful in a district like ours where we don't have access to a lot of money,” Schweitzer said. “In order to get additional materials to benefit and enhance student reading, this is a way for me to accomplish that as a teacher.”

The school district's public relations coordinator, Alexis Trubiani, congratulated Schweitzer on a job well done.

“The district applauds Ms. Schweitzer and all the teachers taking the initiative to seek out funding and materials on their own,” Trubiani said. “With the state in the economic situation it is in, we are so proud of our teachers for finding ways to make projects happen. Whether it is through funding or with their own money, our teachers find a way to make good things happen.”

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.