Monday, May 13, 2013

Our 2nd American Dream Grant | Berwyn Public Library

We have just received our second American Dream grant for $10,000 from the American Library Association and Dollar General Literacy Foundation.  This time around we will be adding some seriously cool technology to our adult learning programs like a SMART board, iPad Minis, and subscriptions to reading and ESL software.

Our SMART board has already been purchased and should be installed sometime this week.  We purchased 3 iPads, and we made the decision to purchase 3 more once we realized that there are high-quality and inexpensive math apps available to buy instead of really expensive software.  I can't wait to start using these.  Unfortunately, we are waiting to be approved in Apple's volume purchasing program.  Once approved, we will be able to buy apps in bulk and sync all of the devices at once.  This is a lot better than trying to download the apps to each of the 6 devices separately.

We decided to go with Reading Horizons, a phonics-based software system for the computer in one of our computer labs.  I went to training last month to learn the curriculum, which I can teach solely through direct instruction or as a blend with the software.  Our ESL students are finding that phonics is wonderful to study for pronunciation improvement.  I have been using direct instruction for the last couple of weeks in our ESL Study Groups and our students love it.

I've attached our flyers in case you want to browse our program descriptions and program set-up. There's also some pictures of our Literacy Center.  The first one is our collection, the second one is Learning Lab One, and our newest addition is Learning Lab Two, the classroom where our SMART board will soon be located.

Here are some before photos:

The room in the 3rd picture is where our SMART board will go!