Sonja Williams, former principal Maude I Logan, and Sally Burt, co-chair Starfish Committee
Women’s Policy Forum of Tarrant County through the United Way of Tarrant County will establish a Reading Oasis at the Maude I. Logan Elementary School in southeast Fort Worth later this summer. A WPF Foundation donation of $10,000, monies remaining from almost a decade of fundraising for educational efforts, will underwrite the center, the 11th to be established in Tarrant County.
The Maude I. Logan Reading Oasis will include more than 400 new books and a listening library. The space will be supplied with beanbag chairs and other kid-friendly furniture. Decorations will include colorful carpet and literacy-themed artwork. Student participants are automatically enrolled in Club Connect, a website offering games, videos, e-books and other resources to foster a love of reading.
“We have loved working with the teachers at Maude I. Logan and wanted to leave a sustainable gift to help these students. Also, we felt it was important to honor the Forum’s long-term commitment to our work,” said Starfish Committee chairs Sally Burt and Kerry Neuhardt. WPF’s Starfish Project was founded in 2006 in response to a call by then Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Melody Johnson for the community to get involved with schools.
“The average copyright date for books at Maude is 1994,” said Denise Wessels, school librarian. “The Reading Oasis will truly be a welcome gift.”
Over the years, the Starfish Committee has raised more than $70,000 to fulfill a variety of needs at the school, such as attendance incentives, supplemental school supplies, educational enrichment field trips for students, teacher shirts to promote campus pride, snacks for teachers during long testing days, gift cards and holiday bags for Maude I. Logan staff. Tax-deductible contributions to the Celebrity Breakfast, golf tournaments, as well as membership drives for school supplies and gift cards, funded the effort.
The Starfish Committee members chose to establish a Reading Oasis at Maude I. Logan after learning through the United Way that more than 60 percent of U.S. third graders aren’t reading proficiently. Third graders who are not reading at grade level are four times more likely to drop out of high school.
When the Reading Oasis is installed at Maude I. Logan, a plaque will commemorate the Women’s Policy Forum’s Starfish Project. Maude I Logan Principal Felicia Moody said: “The Starfish Committee has always come through with just what we need - and we will always be grateful.”