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Where reading counts

Scholastic Inc. campaign helps two Delran teachers pass on a love of reading

Courtesy of Jen Hunter and Jenna Alesiani
Funds from the Scholastic Classrooms Count Campaign helped fund libraries for fifth graders at Delran Intermediate School.

Fifth graders at Delran Intermediate School are pumped – thanks to the Scholastic Classrooms Count Campaign.

The campaign has teachers Jen Hunter and Jenna Alesiani instructing their students on the FUNdamental Elements of reading as well as the benefits of having a home library.

Improved fluency, decoding and being a lifelong reader are some of the goals the two teachers have for their students, who also work on a small book project of their choice after reading.

Over the course of a year, teachers across the country created more than 18,000 campaigns nationwide and raised more than $2 million. The Classrooms Count initiative enables instructors to buy essentials for their classrooms and help students get more excited about learning, according to Scholastic.

Research from the National Education Association shows more than 90% of teachers use their own funds for things like supplies and even furnishing their classrooms.

“We were able to use the money that we raised through (the Scholastic campaign) to raffle off new books of a student’s choice each month,” Hunter noted. “Each month, the students receive the Scholastic Book Club flyers and select a book of their choice of $5 or less. We then select four students a month, and they win or earn the book of their choice.

“Our class library has over a thousand titles currently,” added Alesiani. “Each book has been scanned into an online database and the students check out books just as they would in a real library.”

Campaigns like Classrooms Count are an example of how proper funding can and does help students perform better in an educational environment as well as outside of school. The initiative is a call to action for family and friends to lend a hand and become what are called “book fairies.”

Hunter and Alesiani have utilized the campaign for years; donations large and small allow them “to instill the love of reading in our classroom,” they agreed. The two send out a message asking for a $9 donation that enables them to purchase nine $1 books for each student. At the end of the school year, the kids have a small library of their own at home.

The funds also help the teachers “freshen up” the class library with new titles.

“Last year, we had many students who wanted to read the ‘The Baby Sitters Club’ series and the ‘I Survived’ series,” Hunter and Alesiani explained in a statement. Campaign funds, they added, enabled the purcase of the books for the classroom library.

“The students were jumping for joy once the book box arrived,” they noted. “The joy and excitement on their faces after selecting books for our class library warms our hearts each time.”

For more information on how to actively participate in the cause, visit

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