Northeast Regional
Education Cooperative (REC#4)

Education—The Key to Success

Building Better Readers Literacy Project

The Northeast Regional Education Cooperative (NEREC/REC#4) developed the Building Better Readers Project (BBRP) to improve literacy skills and build excitement around reading and English Language Arts (ELA) achievement for over 4,900 children attending high-poverty, high-minority schools in northeast New Mexico.

Because more than 75% of the population in these districts are Hispanic and speak a language other than English at home, this project aims to improve literacy across racial and cultural divides and is grounded in culturally relevant pedagogy. NEREC will offer this project to its member LEAs which include 31 individual schools and more than 4,900 students. In addition to traditional K–12 public schools, NEREC supports Rio Gallinas Charter School and continues to offer support to Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS) who enrolls 700 Native American students, and is in close proximity to the Navajo, Jacarilla Apache, and Mescalero Apache reservations.

Project Priorities:

  1. Coordination with School Libraries for Book Distribution;
  2. Coordination with School Libraries for Racially, Ethnically, and Linguistically Responsive Programming

NEREC and the BBRP will:

  • Partner with the school libraries in its seven-member LEAs to distribute high-interest, age/grade-level appropriate books to children in grades K–12.
  • Focus on school librarians as the key points of contact at each school.
  • Focus on increasing the book-to-student ratio while offering engaging project activities at NEREC member schools.
  • Work to improve literacy across racial and cultural divides.
  • Include culturally diverse and bilingual materials designed to support literacy achievement among Spanish-speaking and Native American children.
  • Will bring high-impact literacy and programming to its member districts over five years, to engage low-income, disadvantaged, and minority children in evidence-based literacy instruction designed to foster a deep love of reading.
  • Coordinate book distribution events with the media and library centers at all participating schools. These events will be inclusive, supportive, identity-safe environments for all children served by the project with a specific focus on building literacy, and reading engagement for Hispanic and Native American students.
  • Build library collections intended to elevate Native American history and culture.

The Building Better Readers Project includes five key components:

  1. Pedagogical support;
  2. Expanded library collections at participating schools;
  3. Providing children with age-appropriate books and access to expanded reading materials during out-of-school time hours;
  4. Access to digital reading materials, and culturally relevant books, and;
  5. Literacy Fair program across all member districts.

For more information about the Building Better Readers Literacy Project, contact Glenn Damian, and Edye Trujillo.