One Class at a Time presented by Chick-fil-A of Birmingham.
It’s not every day that $1,000 falls right in your lap, or rather, is presented to you by way of a giant check, camera crew and a cow wearing a jersey that reads, “Eat Mor Chikin,” but that’s exactly what happened to Concord Elementary’s reading coach, Kimberly Decker.
For 21 years, CBS 42 has been proud to present local teachers, like Decker, with $1,000 grants through its One Class at a Time program, honoring the educators who work tirelessly to make a positive impact on the children of Central Alabama.
As an elementary teacher for 31 years, the past four spent at Concord Elementary as a reading coach, Decker is an unrelenting advocate for reading and the vital role it plays in the lives and education of her young students.
“Reading is so important to be a successful learner,” said Decker, “My goal is to start cultivating a love for reading and a confidence in learning that will carry them [the students] through their education and beyond.”
Working with students in kindergarten through third grade, as well as their teachers to create and implement classroom reading strategies, Decker gets to witness firsthand how far a little encouragement really goes.
“I live for those light-bulb moments,” said Decker, “where they [the students] are struggling and then all of a sudden, it clicks, and they finally start believing that they’re capable.”
And Decker’s big plans for the money?
To organize not just one, but two Literacy Picnics during this school year.
An event loved by students and parents alike, Concord Elementary’s Literacy Picnic allows students to choose from an array of books– all provided by the school– and then spend an hour outside reading that book to and/or with their families.
With the help of One Class at a Time, Decker intends to supply every child at Concord Elementary–a little over 400 students– with two books over the course of the school year through these Literacy Picnics.
“Watching the kids walk through, looking for a book to choose, and seeing their faces light up when they find the one they want to read is so special,” said Decker of past Literacy Picnics.
To nominate a local teacher for CBS 42’s One Class at a Time grant, apply here.