It is never too early to learn new words and skills at KLEAP.

Kindergarten Literacy Education at Play, a program funded by Foundation 65, finished its third year at seven schools in School District 65: Dawes, Lincoln, Lincolnwood, Oakton, Orrington, Willard and Walker. As a group, students read books related to a thematic unit such as laundry, construction, pizza and veterinarians.They are introduced to new vocabulary in the process. Then, in pairs, students engage in dramatic play that promotes and supports their reading and writing skills. The units are designed to encourage creative thinking, and allow students of all skill levels to learn, participate and ultimately benefit from this program.

The program was developed by the LEAP team at the Evanston Public Library in response to early childhood literacy research studies which have determined how important it is to provide strategies for acquiring literacy skills as early as possible. In 2010-2011, Foundation 65 plans to fund KLEAP at all schools in District 65.

Foundation 65 is the educational foundation for School District 65. While it collaborates with the District to support the schools’ teachers and students, the foundation is an independently operating foundation with its own volunteer board and funds.

Foundation 65 announced that three new board members began their terms this month: Shannon Alexander Farrar, Tammytha D. Johnson and Stephanie L. Kimmel. “Foundation 65 has a very strong and committed board and we are thrilled to have Shannon, Tammy and Stephanie join their ranks,” said Lise Jinno, Foundation 65’s executive director.