• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

WEEF receives grant to support Woodford READS

The Woodford Educational Endowment Foundation (WEEF) was recently awarded a $7,000 grant from the Blue Grass Community Foundation to support Woodford READS, a childhood literacy program in local schools.

An Early Childhood Education and Literacy Grant allowed WEEF to partner with Woodford County Public Schools by purchasing books for Woodford READS (Read, Explore And Discover Success). Every elementary student (preschool through fifth grade) in Woodford County Public Schools will receive a copy of “The Spray-Paint Mystery” to take home in the second year of this ongoing literacy initiative. “The goal is to promote family reading time,” said Silas Hart, treasurer of WEEF. Its volunteers viewed being awarded a Blue Grass Community Foundation grant for Woodford READS as an opportunity to continue supporting excellence in public education in Woodford County, Hart said.

“It’s just another example of how that foundation continues to try to find ways to support things that we’re doing in the school district,” Woodford County schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins said.

The second annual Woodford READS will officially kick off next Monday morning, Nov. 20, when Hawkins reads “The Spray-Paint Mystery” to students at Huntertown Elementary School. Other guest readers, including Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift, Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott, and Woodford County Library’s youth services librarian, Becky Munoz, will also participate in Woodford READS on Nov. 20.

“Literacy skills are the foundation for everything,” said assistant youth services librarian Bookie Wilson. “So until you’re in third grade, you are learning to read. But after third grade, you are reading to learn.

“So if you’re not up to speed in your reading skills after third grade-on it’s going to be a struggle. So that’s why we (as a public library) want early literacy to be focused-on so much and we’re so supportive” of efforts like Woodford READS.

When this district-wide literacy initiative began last spring, Hawkins viewed Woodford READS as a way to get community partners involved in this ongoing effort to promote reading at home. “We wanted to try to expand (this literacy initiative) and get some more folks involved this time,” he said.

In addition to forging this recent early literacy partnership, WEEF continues to support excellence in public education by sponsoring a variety of performing arts for Woodford County students. “Our students need to be exposed to so many different things so that when they leave (our schools) they … have an appreciation for the arts,” said Hart.

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