The Duncan Banner


December 20, 2013

Smart Start receives grant from Cotton Electric Charitable Foundation

DUNCAN — A love of reading is what Smart Start of Stephens County plans to instill using a $750 grant received from Cotton Electric Charitable Foundation.

Just before the presentation was made Thursday morning, Julie Sanders, Smart Start coordinator, stopped in to visit a Smart Start classroom at Will Rogers Elementary. She read a couple of short books to a group of pre-K students as part of a reading program through the organization.

Smart Start classes are read to on a regular basis to encourage an positive image of reading at early ages. Once the books were read, Bryce Hooper with Cotton Electric made the presentation to Sanders.

“When you all come back from Christmas, you are all going to have your books to take home,” Sanders told the excited students.

It is the goal to provide each Smart Start student, ages birth to six, with a book of their own to take home with them. The funds from the Cotton Electric grant, as well as funding from other sources such as the United Way, are helping make that goal be reached.

“There is such a need for kids to have books at home,” Sanders said.

“If they don’t have them, they are less likely to be read to or read on their own. Even if they can’t read yet, they can look at the pictures and use their imaginations.”

There are currently 146 students in Smart Start and books don’t usually come cheap. Yet, there is hope to continue funding the home-book project in years to come.

“It makes it easier to harness the love of reading,” said Sanders.

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