By Barbara Augsdorfer, Editor for the Effingham Herald
With a new library on their campus, the teachers and staff at EnCompass Academy hope their students will become hooked on books.
EnCompass serves special needs students in grades K-12 who have developmental, emotional or physical challenges to learning. “One of our goals is to improve reading,” said Stacy Boyett, coordinator for EnCompass Academy at the library dedication on Friday. “You need reading to do any type of tasks that you want to do in life, and so for our ‘littles’ our focus is to provide instructional support and putting a book in their hands and getting them to love reading because we know reading leads to success in life.”
The library was dedicated in memory and honor of Dr. Greg Arnsdorff, a past district assistant superintendent, principal, and teacher.
Boyett said that they want to make sure the older students also understand how reading is functional. Even though older students who struggle with reading because it’s always been difficult and now they may hate reading, “We try to make that functional for them to know, hey, if you want a job, ‘How are you going to get there? If you're going to be traveling, you need to read to pass the (driver’s) test to get your license. If you want to be a mechanic, you're going to have to read manuals.’.” She added that every student has scheduled time every day to focus on reading in some capacity.
According to Boyett, being in the heart of Rincon is ideal because the community can remain involved with the students and the school. “Because without you, we cannot do the things that we do here in this Academy. So one of the things that we're trying this school year is we are starting something called change makers.” How “Change makers” works is after signing up on the change maker app, you can choose to donate a set amount each month; or round up purchases to the next dollar. That change is put into an account for EnCompass Academy. According to Boyett, funds can be used on student field trips, or a water slide for their field day, and staff appreciation. Boyett also thanked community partners who have already stepped up to be change makers for the school. “They do it just because they love kids,” Boyett said. She highlighted Goshen United Methodist Church of Rincon who provided breakfast items for teachers and staff on Friday morning, and goodie bags for the students; and Rincon First Baptist Church who provided dinner on Thursday evening for teachers who stayed until 7 p.m. for parent-teacher conferences.Community members who want to sign up to be a change maker for EnCompass Academy can sign up by texting “encompass” to (404) 994-3399 or signing up online on the change maker website at: https://go.changemaker.app/donate/encompass-academy-effingham.