Kindergarteners Can Write Too!

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Kindergarten students revise writing at the writing center purchased with the Ascension Fund Grant.
Pictured from back left: Olivia Henderson, Tucker Suire, Madeline Hebert, Cole Carmouche

Geismar– Spanish Lake Primary kindergarten teacher Cathy Ragusa received an Ascension Fund Grant in August. The purpose of the grant was to help students connect phonics and reading skills to writing.

The “Kindergarteners Can Write Too!” project has helped kindergarten students to connect what they read to their writing. They have become more confidant and independent writers.

A creative phonics program called Phonic Faces was purchased with grant money. The program is a creative way to teach phonics. Each sound has a character and a story book to go with it. All students have enjoyed the stories and had fun manipulating the character letters to make words. “When can we meet another letter friend?” is a question often asked by students. Struggling students have benefitted especially because the letter characters give them an extra reference to help them remember letters and letter sounds. The grant also purchased a writing center desk with storage. Following whole and small group lessons, as many as four students are able to go to this center to extend the lesson with writing. All students have shown great progress in their writing skills. When looking at writing samples, a first grade teacher commented, “The writing conventions are there, words are phonetically correct, and subject matter is appropriate. Definitely ready for first grade!”

Funds for this grant were provided by Sunshine Equipment Co., Inc. through the Ascension Fund.  The Ascension Fund is a non-profit organization established in 1991 by the Gonzales Rotary Club as an instrument for private sector leaders to invest directly in the work of individual teachers and schools through grants for innovative ideas and programs in Ascension Parish public schools.  Teacher Grants of $500 or $1,000 and School Impact Grants of $2,500 are awarded on an annual competitive basis.  To date, the Ascension Fund has awarded over 1,000 grants representing over $1.2 million dollars in the school system.  For more information, visit www.ascensionfund.com