Education and literacy were the focus of the Feb. 20 meeting of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Warrenton Woman’s Club. The meeting was held at Warrenton Presbyterian Church and hosted by the club’s Education Community Service Program committee.
Club president Mary Alice Carter convened the meeting and welcomed the guest speaker, Janie Miller with The Warren Record.
The Newspapers In Education Literacy Program was the topic for the evening’s program. Elizabeth Groeger, Education CSP chairwoman, introduced the program and reminded members that NIE is a nationwide program designed to increase literacy through use of the newspaper as a teaching tool by getting newspapers into the hands of students.
The Warren Record’s NIE program began in 2010. Each year since 2011 the GFWC Warrenton Woman’s Club has donated funds to help keep this program operational in Warren County schools. As an NIE literacy partner, the club receives recognition in the newspaper and members have the satisfaction of knowing that by helping to improve student reading skills, they have made a significant impact in the lives of these students.
Miller, NIE coordinator, then began her portion of the program by explaining how local teachers utilize The Warren Record newspapers donated weekly to participating schools in Warren County. Her presentation included a slideshow of photos that illustrated how local teachers at different levels of classes and of various age groups incorporate the newspaper in their lessons. Besides improving their reading skills, Warren County students are learning the value of newspapers and how best to use the information reported in newspapers for their needs.
Miller noted that “getting the newspapers into the hands of our students now is imperative in creating well-educated, community-minded citizens for the future.” She reported that for the 2013-14 school year, the program has been implemented in 10 schools, including all Warren County elementary schools, the middle school, Warren County High School, Warren New Tech High School, Norlina Christian School, Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School and the Adult Education program at Vance-Granville Community College. It is used in classroom instruction by 81 educators, and a total of 1,305 newspapers are distributed to students each week.
“Students in these classrooms are future employees, employers, consumers and voters in Warren County, and through the NIE program, teachers are preparing them to take on those roles and creating informed, educated and involved citizens for our future,” she said.
Miller reported that funding support from community groups helps keep the NIE program operating locally, but current resources do not allow all teacher newspaper quests to be filled. The funding shortfall requires some classrooms to share newspapers, or students within a classroom sometimes have to share. Miller hopes that more community organizations will become involved as NIE literacy partners and work toward making local schools better and helping students succeed. Local organizations interested in participating or wanting more information about the NIE program should contact Miller at 252-257-3341.
In closing, Miller informed the group about an upcoming NIE luncheon fundraiser that will also include door prizes of books that have been signed by the authors, including Maya Angelou, Nicholas Sparks and others from North Carolina.
During the business portion of the meeting, Groeger distributed copies of application forms for the club’s $500 scholarship for 2014. Members were asked to give the forms to eligible high school students they may know. Announcements about the scholarship have also been submitted to local newspapers for publication.
Application forms are available from the guidance counselors at all of the Warren County high schools or by calling Groeger at 252-257-9258. The application deadline is Monday, April 28. The scholarship winner will be announced in May.
Home Life CSP Chairwoman Sue Kelley thanked members who donate food for the Loaves & Fishes food pantry and noted that food supplies are down. Kelley reminded members that the club is planning another luncheon fundraiser to benefit Loaves & Fishes and the GFWC-NC “Feed the Future” project on Wednesday, April 23.
Janet Lesser announced that her husband Bob has begun building a wooden potting bench that will be raffled off as a fundraiser at the club’s booth at the Warrenton SpringFest event on April 26.
Peggy Allen won the evening’s raffle prize, a blue glass vase donated by Deborah Phelps.
The club’s International Outreach CSP committee will host the March 20 club meeting.