Marion Grant Supports Starry Social-Emotional Library

During spring of 2023 Starry Elementary School Counselor Kelli Johnson submitted a funded Marion School Foundation grant to expand and improve the existing social-emotional library at Starry elementary. This library is available to all Starry staff to address a large variety of topics that may present in kindergarten through 2nd Grade.

One of the most important outcomes of this project is the validation that books and games that are at the same age-appropriate level as our students can be highly effective in enhancing the learning experience. Moreover, we learned that keeping track of the books and topics that are in demand is essential to monitor the needs of students.

In a final report, Kelli Johnson reported that she was able to update books on a variety of topics that included diversity and inclusion and was able to add over 150 resources to this library for use throughout the school. Having a variety of topics has improved cultural awareness among staff and a sense of belonging among students. Because books and games are a primary source of learning for young children, a variety of staff have been able to use these resources quickly and productively.

For example, a teacher at Starry was struggling with teaching students to appropriately regulate their emotions. This teacher had a specific skill that she was wanting to teach, and was able to find 3 books that incorporated that skill. This also provided her with language to assist students who are experiencing big emotions.

“Counselor Johnson has a lot of books. We read one about a cactus who learned to be a good friend and then we got to make our own cactuses.” – 1st grade student

“My favorite is the puppets” – Kindergarten Student

The Marion Foundation’s grant program provides teachers an opportunity to receive funding for projects that benefit students in the Marion Independent School District. Grants are made possible because of generous contributions the Foundation receives throughout the year from both businesses and individuals as well as a number of educational funds that are invested with the Foundation for long-term benefit.