Grant Update – Stoller Middle School

Grant Update – Stoller Middle School

Building a Literacy Community

Stoller Middle School

Students in the Reading Workshop had the opportunity to go to Powell’s Bookstore, browse books, and choose a book to read that was added to the classroom library. After purchasing their books, students enjoyed a lunch at New Seasons Market Cedar Hills Crossing and a chance to share what book they chose, why they chose it and who else might enjoy their book.

  • 100% of students chose at least one book that they could read quickly and understand.
  • Within 2.5 weeks, 60% of students completed their books. 17% of students not finished with their books have it as planned future reading. 14% of students started and abandoned their books.
  • At lunch, students were able to sit in a large circle and all shared the book they selected. This also generated excitement for other kids who wanted to read the book. Some books have already been passed to a 3rd reader!

Project leader, Kim Hiber, reports: “In preparing for the trip, students had the opportunity to participate in two real-life reading opportunities that I had not originally planned for. As we were discussing what students would do at Powell’s, I realized that students didn’t have a vision of the store. Therefore, I copied maps of Powell’s and prior to going, we practiced reading maps. Second, as we were talking about lunch options, students looked at various order forms from New Seasons. This activity was actually very difficult as students had to think about what items were available, how much they cost, and what was possible to order. For many, the vocabulary was difficult (they didn’t know about pesto, hummus, etc. which led to lessons on how to find out this information). Both the map and the order forms provided experiences and discussions that I would not have considered without this project.

Beyond reading opportunities, this trip also provided a wonderful discussion comparing and contrasting a library with bookstores – deciding what was similar and different about each. Additionally, as part of the process I met Jenny, the Cedar Hills New Seasons Market Community Coordinator. She explained about other activities New Seasons offer, including “Earth Day Bags” that kids decorate. My readers took that theme and added book recommendations – it was a great opportunity to share more about books which wouldn’t have happened without this grant.

Several participants had some thoughts to share:


“Kiran came in and proudly put the book out on his desk. He was really excited to show me what he chose.” — Stoller Teacher


“Kids loved carrying around the bags from Powells. They felt special and got to talk about their trip.” — Stoller Teacher


“It was such a pleasure to have you and your classes here. What a fun, intelligent, and curious group you have! It was the best part of my day here, and I can say the same for a lot of my team.”
— Mina S. Meman, Powell’s Bookstore Trainer


“It was interesting to see different kinds of books.” — Hasan (student)


“It was fun because we got to give input into what books
we chose.” — Mia


“It was nice to select from a variety of books that I hadn’t
read before.” — Michael


“I can’t thank you enough for providing kids with this opportunity. Students returned to school proudly sharing their “goody bags” from Powell’s, their books, and great stories about the trip. Thank you again for your support of Beaverton students and particularly my class of developing readers. I truly hope we will be able to do this again in future years.”  — Kimberly Huber, Reading Specialist