Literacy Legacy Fund of Michigan
Current Grant Recipients
As of December 2022, LLF Michigan has distributed over $61,350 in literacy enhancing grants. In 2017 the first Legacy Grant was presented to the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum. Since then the Lowell Area History Museum has been the continuous recipient (2018-2023), for their very successful Immersion Program (read more about their program below).
None of this activity would or could happen without generous and committed donors, volunteers, and partners over the past years. We truly value the effort of all who supported enhancing Michigan literacy of all ages!
2022-2023 Current Grant Recipients
Lowell Area Museum Immersion Program
The “Museum Immersion” program is a special learning opportunity. Third grade students use the Museum and its resources to explore their local history and how it fits together with a larger world. While all participate in the same activities, the program is crafted to allow each student choices about the specifics of what they are learning. Their own curiosity in part leads their investigations. This lets each student really feel in control of what they are focusing on.
Each day the students engage in a series of activities crafted by their teacher and Museum historians.
The activities are designed to complement and expand on curriculum taught in the classroom. All activities are hands on, history focused and expand critical thinking skills. Students learn how artifacts qre cared for in museums, how exhibits are researched, designed and put together, how to research topics and artifacts themselves as well as learning about specific historical topics. The program is designed to expand students’ knowledge of Lowell history, the development of their community, and the role museums play in preserving and presenting that history. The result is a group of students who learn a lot, but who also learn deeply and retain that learning. By having the immersive time to dig deeply into the past, they are able to make connections that may not have happened in the classroom.
Year in which the grant was awarded & implemented – 2022-2023 school year
Program reached 275 children & 11 adults
2020-2021 Current Grant Recipients
Lowell Area Historical Museum Immersion Program
The Museum was awarded a consecutive Legacy Grant for the “Museum Immersion” program. The successful “Immersion” program from the previous school year was followed again in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years. The program was provided to all third grade classed in the Lowell Area School District, a total of three buildings and 12 classes, 300 students and 12 teachers. Three of the classes attended the program in person, as planned. The other 9 classes from two schools were unable to attend in person due to Covid-19 shut down of the schools and museum. In order to continue to offer the program and to supplement virtual classes the museum staff worked with the schools to present the programming virtually through recorded videos teachers shared with students. Activity ideas were worked in that students could do at home to further supplement the programming. Objectives met by the program: 1) Support, expand and supplement social studies curriculum through direct exposure to historical artifacts, exhibits, techniques and interaction with local historians. 2) Connect learning in classroom to the local community. 3) Model methods of historical research and writing through student driven activities during their time in the museum with guidance of historians. To view a sample video students viewed click here. Additional photos are posted on our Facebook page.
Remain in Touch – Books to Connect With Incarcerated Parents/Grandparents
Remain in Touch is a literacy program for the children of incarcerated parents/grandparents. The organization offers incarcerated parents/grandparents the opportunity to select a free, new book and record it aloud for each of their children, ages 0-12 years. The recordings and books are sent to the individual child, allowing the parents and children to stay connected and bridge the gap that exists during the time of their incarceration. For the Children: The incarcerated adult is given an opportunity to make a difference in the overall success of their child. Children who have been read to or are proficient readers are more likely to be ready for school, have fewer behavioral problems, have higher self esteem, have better verbal skills, stay drug and alcohol free and graduate from high school. For the Incarcerated Parent: Remain in Touch provides a surrogate way to have one-on-one time with their children and give that parent the opportunity to help their children become better readers, increasing the chances for the children’s success. They give an incarcerated parent a way to stay connected with the family and maintain a relationship with their children. In some cases it is the first time a parent has to read to their child. Reading to a child can help a parent bond with them and possibly create a lifetime reader. For the Community: Studies show that prisoners who maintain strong family ties and assume marital and parental roles upon release have lower recidivism rates than those who function without family ties, expectations and obligations.
Marquette Maritime Museum – Reprint Shipwreck Book
The Marquette Maritime Museum’s grant provided funds to reprint Fred Stonehouse’s book, Marquette Shipwrecks and create educational activities based on the book. The updated book (and corresponding educational activities) will be made available to all teachers who participate in the Museum’s field trip program. Educational activities based on the book will be used in classrooms before and after the field trip, at the Museum during field trips, and for Museum guests. A copy of the updated book and corresponding educational activities will be given to teachers who participate in the Museum’s free school field trip program.
En Nuestra Lengua Literacy and Culture Project (ENL)
ENL Literacy & Culture Project grant provides funds for 10 Chrome Books. The project is a FREE Saturday literacy intervention program and has been in operation since 2010. ENL successfully brings together Pre-K to 5th grade English-language learning students, their parents and local volunteers and educators to counteract the significant academic achievement gap in this underserved language-learning community surrounding Ann Arbor, MI. This grant seeks to extend the literacy skills through the use of a computer.
Using technology is no longer a choice in our society. In preparing students to be productive, literate citizens, teachers now must use technology to adequately prepare young minds. The youngest students must be actively literate in technology as well. The program seeks to leverage the interactive nature of technology, allowing ENL to customize areas of their curriculum to better fit their diverse students’ needs. Not only will technology be used to enrich their current in-class resources as the Scholastic Classroom magazines – enabling them to now use their accompanying electronic activities, but they will be able to implement electronic books and other literacy development apps that change the pace and reading level depending on student response. ENL operates on a 25 – week academic year schedule, 2.5 – 3 hours each Saturday plus daily in-home assignments of 15 minutes and 23 – 30 minutes in-home reading.
Marquette Regional History Center – Two Semesters Fee Waiver
Marquette Regional History Center has received an additional grant to waive research & workshop fees for NMU students the first two semesters 2020-2021. Research can be conducted in person or virtually and covers a wide range of topics, such as English, History, Health and more.
2019 Grant Recipients
Professional Development for Educators Project Aquatic WILD, K-12
The workshop is in partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Michigan State University – Extension, and Michigan DNR. Project WILD’s mission is to help students learn how to think, not what to think, about wildlife and the environment. All curriculum materials are backed by sound educational practices and theory. The grant provided funds to train K-12 Educators, which earned 4 hours of continuing education credits. During the training educators received both field lessons and classroom instruction. Lesson plans included core subjects of mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, and the arts. This program is an important component of a child’s education as they spend less and less time in the outdoors.
Jump Start Incentive Grant – The 2019 Summer Linguistic Lecture Series
Dr. Wil Rankinen (of GVSU) Summer Linquistic Lecture Series
Dr. Wil Rankinen, of Grand Valley State University, was awarded a JumpStart grant for 2019 installment of The Summer Linguistic Lecture Series: Words as a Source of Identity in the U.P. English. The 2019 SLLS objective is to bring awareness to local communities regarding the influences of identity on local vocabulary and to support and legitimize local language use in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. More information will be available upon completion of grant objectives.
Jump Start Incentive Grant – Bedford’s Bookapalooza-Getting Kids on Board for Summer Reading!
K. Moccio/Bedford Elementary School, Dearborn Heights School District #7, was awarded a JumpStart grant for Bedford’s Bookapalooza-Getting Kids on Board for Summer Reading! The funds from this grant assisted in enabling Bedford Elementary School/K. Moccio to provide free children’s books to 3-5th graders in low income families, to increase enthusiasm for summer reading, and to improve reading proficiency/decrease reading loss by increasing accessibility to free books. The students helped identify authors, topics, or titles they were interested in for selection.
JumpStart Incentive Grant – Metadata Literacy for Digitizing Historical Documents
Marquette Regional History Center was awarded a JumpStart Incentive Grant for their work to preserve priceless local history documents in the John M. Longyear Research Library for future generations. The remarkable archival collection of documents and photos was left to MRHC by the family of John Munro Longyear (1850-1922), successful land investor and lifelong history enthusiast. An Avid photographer, Longyear took pictures as he traveled throughout the Upper Peninsula, within the United States and around the world. The grant will assist in training NMU students and other interested community members to write metadata and create digital objects from physical documents. By empowering MRHC to create digital images with useful metadata, LLF Michigan is helping to digitally preserve the past for future historians. More information will be available upon completion of grant objectives, early 2020. Pictured below are Chris Ault & Dory Shaffer
JumpStart Incentive Grant – BookPALS/Children’s Literacy Network
The Children’s Literacy Network in Ann Arbor was awarded a JumpStart Incentive Grant for their BookPALS program. This grant will help fund tablets 2nd graders in three low-resource schools and peers from near-by more affluent communities with compatible reading levels and interests will use to record themselves reading and share with their “BookPAL”. More information will be available upon completion of grant objectives.
CURRENT GRANT RECIPIENTS (2018-2019 implementation)
Lowell Area Historical Museum
The “Museum Immersion” program for the 2018-2019 school year brought students the direct expertise of local historians and engaged them in learning deeply about the history of their community, how museums work, and how to present history. Students learned historical content through reading exhibit labels, hands on activities utilizing primary sources and working with historians. The program was provided to all third grade classes in the Lowell Area School District, a total of three buildings and 11 classes, 275 students and 11 teachers.
After preparation in their classrooms, on the first day students were given time to explore the museum on their own, recorded in the journals their thoughts, then given another opportunity to go back through the Museum and select one thing that (artifact or person) they were wanted to learn more about. Museum staff assembled “research packets” on everything we could find on the items students wanted to know about. On day two each student received their individual packet and they studied the material and wrote an exhibit label to share with classmates what they learned about their item. Each day students participated in at least three activities that required supplies. At the end of the two days each student was presented with a certificate made possible by this grant.
Marquette Regional History Center Receives Two Grants
The first grant provided waived research fees for NMU students for the 2018-2019 academic year.
The second grant provided funds for training/workshops on how to use & research local history documents in the John M. Longyear Research Library.
2018 Literacy Grant Recipients
NMU Creative Writing Project 2018 JumpStart Incentive Grant
“Creative Writing Night at NMU”. Underwrote creative writing night for high school English teachers and students. The program is to be assisted by Graduate and undergraduate English Education Students, majoring in English curriculum. The grant was awarded in 2017 and the program implemented in spring of 2018.
2018 JumpStart Incentive Grant / Peter White Public Library
LLF Michigan awarded a 2018 JumpStart Incentive Grant to Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI to assist with purchase of books for the Prime Time Preschool program to take place for the second time in a year – the Prime Time Preschool and Prime Time Family event takes place in the fall – last year was the first series and the library hopes to continue with two times for Prime Time Preschool and once per year for the Prime Time Family event. The activities consist of a meal together, reading as a group a book that the families received the week before and have read together, a center activities series, and back together at the end. Looks like lots of literacy fun!
2018 JumpStart Incentive Grant / Grand Valley State University
Linguistic Summer Lecture Series across the Upper Peninsula with Dr. Wil Rankinen. Upper Peninsula (U.P.) English, also known as Yooper English, or colloquially as Yoopanese is a variety of American English native to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (locally abbreviated as “U.P.” and the basis for the endonym “Yooper”). The purpose of this lecture series was to 1) highlight the unique features of how English is spoken across the UP,
2) show how differences in language use indexes differences in identity, and 3) establish why UP English should be considered a legitimate variety of American English. Click here for more information.
2018 JumpStart Incentive Grant / Dominican Literacy Center
Funds were awarded to purchase reading and math books for their tutoring program. Dominican Literacy Center in Detroit provides a tutoring service and conducive learning environment which will help adults improve their reading, speaking, listening, writing, mathematics, and basic computer skills.
2018 JumpStart Incentive Grant / UPHS-Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program
The grant provided funds to purchase books for wellness visits to the clinic doctor. This funding allowed the MFMRP to purchase/receive 715 books for their Reach Out and Read program, which is initiated in 2018. Reach Out and Read provides a framework for medical offices to provide books, use the books as teaching tools to engage parents and children and model health behaviors. One of the major drivers that influences children’s overall physical health, cognitive development, and achievement potential is a simple factor; their early exposure to reading. Fostering literacy skills within the first 5-6years helps set the stage for success later in life. Reading aloud to children boosts curiosity and creative brain development, strengthens family bonds, and reduces pediatric stress and anxiety. The age range is six months to five-years-old, so children can receive up to 10 books throughout the 10 wellness visits in that age span. The Reach Out and Read Program says that 95% of the brain is formed in the first six years of life. Read more here
2018 JumpStart Incentive Grant / NPS/HNF – Hiawatha Interpretative Assoc, Munising
Grant funds allowed for Project WILD and Project Learning Tree Professional Development Curriculum guides to enhance outdoor education for schools & agencies personnel. The Hiawatha Interpretive Association is a nonprofit that provides the public with interpretative, educational and informational opportunities that add to the public’s use, enjoyment and understanding of the natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources of the forest. Hiawatha Interpretative Association is in partnership with Hiawatha National Forest, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and MSU Extension. Pictured below are 24 enthusiastic participants were recently trained to use both curriculum guides. The workshop was held at Clear Lake Education Center.
2017-2018 LLF Michigan’s First Legacy Award
In fall 2017, after receiving several JumpStart Incentive Grants the UPCM was awarded LLF’s Michigan’s first Legacy Award. This grant covers fall 2017 and all 2018 to support successful Third Thursday Literacy Nights.
2017 Grant Recipients
We are pleased to announce in 2017 the LLF Michigan Board allocated over $11,000 to assist with a wide array of projects and activities through seven grants and a university scholarship.
Bedford Elementary, Dearborn Heights District #7
JumpStart Incentive Grant -“Say No to Summer Slide & Yes to Summer Pride”. LLF Michigan allocated funds to purchase books for a with summer reading program. For K. Moccio, of Bedford Elementary School, Dearborn Heights District #7, receiving a grant application for our JumpStart Incentive Grant enabled K. Moccio to purchase books for their summer reading program. This book project was featured in the Take a Stand Center at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. And, please join us as we congratulate K. Moccio for being a recipient of the Excellence in Education awards program started by the Michigan State Lottery. This award recognizes Michigan K-12 public school teachers and staff who are making a significant impact in the lives of Michigan students. Pictured below are honor roll students helping to label the many program books.
Daisy Brook Elementary, Fremont Public Schools
2017 JumpStart Incentive Grant
“Books for the Colonial Period”. This grant funded social studies books for a 5th grade classroom. The following is a comment from the classroom educator “I cannot begin to tell you how fabulous your grant monies have been to our classroom learning! It has been really fun watching the kids read to one another all of the interesting facts that they have found in the books, as well as to come to me with facts that they have found to be interesting! We have done some great writing pieces using the books and right now are finishing up a “Bring a Founding Father to Life’ project where they have also had to use the books to do some research.
Marquette Area Public Schools, Alternative HS writing survey
2017 JumpStart Incentive Grant
“Journaling in the Alternative English Classroom”. This grant funded a survey for use of journals in a high school English classroom. The personal journaling project was implemented using a published book of writing prompts. Twenty-four (24) students in grades 9-12 took one or two of the Writing Hope Scale surveys. Eleven (11) students in grades 9-12 took both Writing Hope Scale surveys. After having positive experiences with personal journaling, students displayed increased motivation to write. The cooperating teacher continued the project beyond the initial 8 weeks experience with NMU student teacher the classroom teacher continued on the project.
Marquette-Alger Great Start Collaborative (M-A GSC)
2017 JumpStart Incentive Grant
“Baby’s First Book”. The grant funds supported purchase of books “Sleep Baby Safe and Snug” for babies first books project, collaboration between M-A GSC and UP General Health System-Marquette . The book was shared by the hospital staff and then was added to each take home bag for each family upon leaving the UP General Health System-Marquette. Families were asked to return a postcard after reading the book to the baby at home. The book emphases safe and snug sleep habits and routines. Reading to babies teaches a baby about communication. introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way, builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills.
Ritter Elementary, Airport Schools 2017 JumpStart Incentive Grant
“After School Book Club”. This grant funded purchase of books for 2nd & 3rd students, and their parents to participate in an after school book club.
Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum 2017 JumpStart Incentive Grant
Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum hosted a series of literacy nights with their grant money. Third Thursday Literacy Nights were created to help families learn the benefits of reading to each other and develop ways for children to track their increased reading delights and skills in a fun, activity filled environment. In fall 2017, after receiving several JumpStart Incentive Grants the UPCM was awarded LLF’s Michigan’s first Legacy Financial Incentive Award. This grant covers fall 2017 and all 2018 to support successful Third Thursday Literacy Nights.
Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum hosted a few fun literacy nights with their grant money – Pictured first is January’s event 2017. Deborah Choszczyck brought her book, Faeries of the Night: Good and Evil. The children listened as they sat on toadstools, they danced with the faeries and they saved Star Faerie from the Goblin! Way to go, UPCM! They made learning literacy fun for all.
The UPCM held another “Third Thursday Literacy Night” in February – this event was titled “Reading with Puppies” and was in celebration of the UP 200 race taking place that weekend. This event will featured activities around the theme while each child left with a wonderful new book! We were pleased to fund this grant so that this wonderful event was free and possible for everyone!
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