Northwestern State University was awarded $4,000 from Dollar General’s Youth Literacy Grant program to support the Cradle to College initiative, a project that seeks to provide literacy activities, resources, and support to children and their families so they can engage in family literacy and play activities at home.
This year, the NSU Early Childhood program collaborated with Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity to extend its reach to Fairview Alpha Elementary School. Christian Mercer, a senior Social Work major, gained interest in the project through his wife, Lindsey Mercer, an Early Childhood Education major at NSU. With Lindsey’s support, Christian arranged for his Pi Kappa Alpha brothers to assemble family literacy bags with materials purchased with Dollar General grant funds, read to preschool and kindergarten children at Fairview Alpha, and present them with their own literacy bags to take home.
The Cradle to College initiative is an on-going project in which NSU students and faculty collect supplies and purchase materials to make family literacy bags for preschool and kindergarten students in Natchitoches Parish. Dr. Michelle Fazio Brunson, Director of Graduate Programs in Early Childhood Education at NSU spearheads the project, which is intended to provide extra support to children who live below the poverty line to help close learning gaps at school.
Brunson said donations of school supplies and books are always needed. To make a contribution, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: Brothers in NSU’s Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Christian Mercer, Kaden Graves, Andy Floyd, Logan Foster and Tyler Magnano presented Leah Metoyer, lead first grade teacher at Fairview Alpha Elementary, with a boxes of literacy bags to be distributed to pre-K and kindergarten students. The contribution was made possible by a Dollar General Youth Literacy Grant to the Cradle to College initiative.