Rivesville teacher wins grant for innovative learning method for students

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RIVESVILLE, W.Va. – Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced that Tabitha Young, a teacher at Rivesville Elementary Middle School, has received a $2,000 grant as part of the company’s 2020 Unsung Heroes awards competition.

Through the Voya Unsung Heroes program, Voya Financial awards grant to K-12 educators nationwide to honor their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and their ability to influence the children they teach positively.

Young’s innovative teaching idea was a “Guided Reading Book Room.” The ides is to establish a school-wide “leveled library” designed to improve classroom instruction, student reading skills, including accuracy and overall reading comprehension for all students.

“The Title I department, and our administration wanted to do something like this for a long time, so we just started looking for the money. We’re really appreciative of companies like Voya who support teachers in their communities,” said Young. “I’m a reading specialist, so this is really exciting for us. I know all the other teachers are excited for the students to be able to have this type of extra learning opportunity.”

Young said teaching guided leveled reading allows teachers to support and challenge students while allowing students to think within, about, and beyond the text with books on their instructional level. It also allows each student to do so at their own pace.

Young said when they initially had the idea, the Marion County Board of Education approved a grant to allow the school to purchase this leveled library. With the amount of funding they have earned, they can provide more opportunities than they envisioned.

“Everyone learns, and picks up on things at different speeds as we all know. This tool will allow us to be able to approach each student with what they need,” Young said. “This grant will allow us to stock the shelves with so many more books than we could have imagined, and I am just so excited for the students to use it.”

Selected from a group of applicants from across the country, Young is one of only 50 winners across the country who will receive this award to help fund and bring her program to life. She will now compete with other finalists for one of the top three prizes — an additional $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000 from Voya Financial. 

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