Culture of Reading Grant

Onekama Elementary Awarded ‘Culture of Reading’ Grant

This month, Onekama first grade teacher Shantel Neiderstadt received a special package in the mail. Inside were BOOKS – a full class set – for Niederstadt to distribute to her excited students.


Niederstadt’s class was selected as a recipient of The Culture of Reading Grant, sponsored by the Michigan Department of Education. The grant is awarded to support evidence-based reading instruction and family engagement activities.

The books are introduced in class, and then they are sent home with students to help grow a home library. The goal of the grant program is to get more books in the hands of children in Michigan, to support early literacy, and to generate a practice and love of reading both inside and outside of school.


“After multiple classroom exposures to the book, students are ready to take them home in order to share them with their families,” explains Niederstadt. “Some students will be able to read all or sections independently to a parent; others will enjoy the familiar read-aloud.”

Adds Niederstadt: “The Culture of Reading initiative perfectly supports our school's goal of working with families to help instill and support a love and appreciation for literature.”

Photo: Onekama first grade students Tyler Hart, Aleah Blackmore, and Jake Brown hold their new book,

 Acoustic Rooster, made possible by the Culture of Reading grant program.