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WC Reading Specialist Wins Grant

January 27, 2015​

​​Carrie Hogan, Willow Creek Elementary School's Reading Specialist, was awarded a $1,000 Educator Initiative Grant from the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation. This was the largest grant amount awarded to those who applied for a grant.

Ms. Hogan is passionate about teaching children to read and feels one of the most important parts of her job is turning reluctant and struggling readers who dislike reading into lifelong readers who enjoy it. To accomplish this, Ms. Hogan will stop at nothing to motivate and engage her students in reading.

Technology use is an ever-growing part of the educational environment. Educating students on the effective use of technology is crucial to long-term student success. Technology can also be very motivating and often promotes a higher level of engagement among students, particularly those who struggle. For these reasons, current research suggests incorporating technology use to improve reading skills.

Incorporating technology in the classroom certainly isn't a new concept, but Ms. Hogan wondered if technology could be used to motivate her students in increase the amount of time spent reading outside of school. Just like with most things students participate in, the more they read, the better readers they become. Ms. Hogan wrote her grant proposing that sending struggling readers home with an iPad loaded with apps providing access to appropriately leveled texts and educational games will likely increase the motivation to read outside of school while also allowing her to direct the learning. The Cherry Creek Schools Foundation found her proposal to be innovative and chose to fund her grant. Ms. Hogan will use her award money to purchase 3 iPads, the necessary protective covers, and educational apps and will begin sending them home with students on a rotational basis.

The Willow Creek PTO was excited about Ms. Hogan's idea and awarded her with enough money to purchase an additional 2 iPads so that more students could access the technology to improve their reading. Ms. Hogan's hope is to eventually increase the number of iPads available to her students to 10.

To learn more about Ms. Hogan's idea or to help her reach her goal, contact her at chogan2@cherrycreekschools.org.​

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