Superintendent receives award for promoting literacy in Wareham

Dec 4, 2017

Wareham Public Schools Superintendent Kimberly Shaver-Hood was honored with a Mass Literacy Champion Award and will represent Wareham across the state at literacy events in 2018.

Shaver-Hood wrote a grant proposal for the creation of a multicultural book club for south coast students and families. She received the grant for $1,000 and was honored during a celebration at the Prudential Center Barnes & Noble on Dec. 2.

Shaver-Hood said she will use the grant to buy multiple copies of award-winning multicultural books for elementary students. There will be a book club every month during the school year, led by a trained book club facilitator.

“It is the aim of this program to increase cultural competence in elementary school students and to expose them to a wide variety of multicultural literature that is not offered in their school curriculum,” Shaver-Hood said.

Having access to multicultural books will allow students to better identify with characters in stories and to learn about the cultures of others through reading. The book club will be implemented in early 2018 and will include interactive discussions, snacks and talking about topics of diversity in the books.

“Sharing a wide variety of multicultural literature with students empowers them to foster increased knowledge about their own culture and those of others,” Shaver-Hood said. “It is critical to expose students to a wealth of literature that represents myriad cultures and offers multiple cultural lenses through which they can construct knowledge about their world.”

Shaver-Hood has created many literacy initiatives in the schools and for adult learners and seniors and said literacy "plays a central role in all programming in Wareham Public Schools." She began a Vacation Lunch and Books program, giving students and families a brown bag lunch and a book from staff at the school on school vacation days.

“In this way, we are not only feeding the body, but also the mind,” Shaver-Hood said.

Mass Literacy is a nonprofit organization that supports literacy education in Massachusetts and recognizes educators, librarians and community leaders each year for their role in promoting literacy in their communities.