Nu Alpha Gamma Chapter awards annual literacy grants

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Perry School Librarian Mari Butler Abry, left, and Nu Alpha Gamma Literacy Committee member Barb Burkett discuss Butler Abry's reception of a $125 Literacy Grant from the Nu Alpha Gamma Chapter. Photo courtesy Nu Alpha Gamma

St. Patrick Catholic School teachers, from left, Amy Smith, Rachel Rothmeyer and Sarah Finn, share the joy of their literacy grants with NU Alpha Gamma Chapter Treasurer Maureen Becker, right. Photo courtesy Nu Alpha Gamma Chapter

The Nu Alpha Gamma Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma International has announced its 2019-2020 Literacy Grants, which are open to all educators in Dallas County and can be used to enhance literacy in their classrooms in any way they see fit.

This year’s winners of the $125 grants are Perry Middle School librarian Mari Butler Abry and Waukee South Middle School sixth grade language arts instructor Megan Ferchen.

Abry said she will use her grant to buy new, updated books in Spanish for the Perry Middle School library, while Ferchen said she will purchase picture books to use as read-alouds for lessons in theme, memoir, character development, empathy, being kind and others.

The Nu Alpha Gamma Chapter also awarded four $30 grants to be used as seed money for the applicants and their projects. Recipients were St. Patrick Catholic School teachers Sarah Finn, Amy Smith and Rachel Rothmeyer; Shuler Elementary School in Waukee third grade teacher Natalie Elliott; Woodward-Granger Elementary School fourth grade teacher Teresa Keller and ADM High School ELA/gifted instructor Beth Knipper.

The chapter was able to fund six out of 11 applicants.

“The demand for these grants seems to increase each year,” said Sue Leslie, chairperson of the Nu Alpha Gamma Personal Growth and Services Committee. “It shows that teachers are dedicated to helping their students increase their literacy skills at all levels. We wish we were able to do more.”

Joining Leslie on the committee were Deb Irving, Barb Burkett and Florence Heck.  The Nu Alpha Gamma Chapter is made up of both active and retired women educators who live or work in Dallas County. The chapter strives to promote the professional and personal growth of women educators as well as to promote excellence in education.

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