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MHS teacher receives grant for reading resources

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Maplesville High School special education teacher Brittany Yeargan has been awarded a $750    Bright Ideas grant from the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative.

The funds will be used to purchase Playaway audiobook players that students will listen to while following along in a chapter book.

“It requires no internet,” Yeargan said. “All they take are batteries.”

Each device is for a specific chapter book.

Last year, Librarian Kathy Hand had suggested that the devices might be helpful to Yeargan’s students. Yeargan said she had hoped to increase students’ interest in reading by using the devices.

The school library already had several of the devices, and some students who are reading below grade level proficiency have been coming to Yeargan’s classroom to use them.

“I have seen an increase in their motivation to read,” she said.

The devices being used are checked out from the school’s library. However, the grant will allow Yeargan to have some specifically for her class and add to the titles available.

The goal is to buy the audiobooks for chapter book titles that are already available in the school library.

Students select their chapter book and Playaway before settling into the reading area to listen and follow along. Yeargan said students finish the book over a series of 30-minute per day sessions.

“When they are finished, they are able to test their comprehension skill by taking an AR (Accelerated Reader) test,” Yeargan said. “It helps increase their comprehension skills. It also increases their vocabulary … I have definitely seen where these students are scoring average or above average scores (on AR test), and they would not have been able to do that without the assistance of the Playaways.”