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St. Thomas Academy students benefit from creative learning grant

St. Thomas kids SELCO
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Students in St. Thomas Academy’s second grade join their teachers in celebrating an art project inspired by Caldecott Award-winning books, made possible through the Spark! Creative Learning Grant and SELCO Community Credit Union. Front Row: Middle School Teacher Jodi Hettiger (left), who assisted with implementing the art/reading program under the leadership of second-grade teacher Lynn Fleenor (right).

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- There’s no question of the importance of fostering a love for reading among youth, particularly given today’s digital, media-driven world. What’s more, research shows that using art to inspire a love for reading is a proven, powerful motivator for reading more, which is why St. Thomas Academy is thrilled to be the recipient of a grant that does just that.

St. Thomas Academy recently learned it received a $996 Spark! Creative Learning Grant bestowed by SELCO Community Credit Union. The grant has enabled second-grade teacher Lynn Fleenor to purchase a collection of Caldecott Award-winning books that will not only be highlighted through a dedicated reading program but celebrated through art projects highlighting each prestigious book.

The grant also supports art supply costs. Thanks to these resources, the reading-art connection can become more purposeful, simultaneously nurturing both reading and art.

“When children feel a connection to a book or its illustrations, they tend to read again and again, strengthening their reading over time,” Fleenor says. “Those students who have not yet connected with a book through its words can be drawn to its illustrations and practice their reading as they peruse the pictures. In this way, a love of reading and art can be fostered.”

After the books are read and the art projects are complete, the books will be on display with the children’s art at the school.

“We’d like to thank SELCO Community Credit Union for their generous gift and for recognizing the value of reading,” Fleenor says. “There’s a critical window in every student’s life where we can inspire a love for reading as well as art. Through this program and with these amazing books and new art supplies, St. Thomas Academy can better accomplish those goals for its students.”

Those interested in learning more about the grant, the reading program, or the reading-art connection offered at St. Thomas Academy through the Spark! Creative Learning Grant are invited to contact Fleenor or St. Thomas Academy.

About St. Thomas Academy
Based in Redmond, Ore., St. Thomas Academy provides a safe community for students, focusing on academic excellence infused with Catholic beliefs. Our goal is to create an environment where Catholic beliefs and academic excellence come together for the best learning experience possible. St. Thomas Academy maintains a learning atmosphere where students feel welcome, safe and excited to learn. It’s a place where students thrive in a challenging instructional environment and develop into curious, imaginative, lifelong learners. Its unmatched teachers provide intellectual development and challenge their students every day. St. Thomas Academy continues to offer the most affordable tuition rates of the private schools in our area. St. Thomas Academy continues to offer financial assistance and need-based scholarships. Its vision is to graduate inspired learners, motivated to lead the world with faith and moral character.

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