Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School in Hollister, a public charter school, has been awarded a $3,000 grant by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support youth literacy.

“Our school was ecstatic to learn of our literacy grant award,” Principal Michelle Varian said. “We will be using it to increase our tier two interventions for students with comprehension struggles.”

She said that HSTS uses assessments to identify the reading-related skills in which students need improvement. Interventions, which focus on grades two through five and six through eight, utilize computer programs designed to address these specific areas. Varian said that, for example, students who had problems with comprehension or phonics could access programs to help them improve those skills. 

While these programs involve the student only, the school uses others designed to include the teacher in the learning process, she added.

Varian said that as students work to improve reading skills such as comprehension and vocabulary, their writing will improve as well.

In addition to materials used in the work with reading, the grant will allow HSTS to purchase more leveled reading materials to help students of all reading abilities, Varian said. She noted that the school began working earlier in the year to develop a room devoted to housing these materials.

The books, which incorporate Native American children and families into the stories, are designed to improve vocabulary, comprehension, phonics and reading fluency.