Return to Headlines

Normandy School to Become Home of Seventh Believe Project Literacy Lab

PINE LAWN, MO -- The Normandy Schools Collaborative will become the newest home to a Believe Project literacy lab, an initiative of the St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature organization that’s dedicated to improving reading proficiency in elementary students.

     The lab will be at Barack Obama School, which serves students in grades 1-8. STL Black Authors of Children’s Literature will be able to bring the literacy lab to Normandy after receiving funding from Nike and its Black Community Commitment Initiative and the Nike St. Louis AirMI Black Employee Network. Funds will be used to provide teacher training and transform the room that will host the literacy lab. The major partners recently toured the school and a potential space, which will feature a library of diverse titles and a colorful mural by St. Louis-based artist Bill Williams. 

      The lab is designed to improve reading proficiency, especially in students in grades K-3. Research shows if students are not strong readers in third grade, they are four times more likely to drop out of school. Ninety percent of the characters or authors featured in the reading space will be people of color.

     “As an honoree of NIKE, Inc.’s Black Community Commitment, we’re thrilled to be part of a national movement of transformative change. We are especially excited to have Nike as a partner; an organization dedicated to leveling the playing field and providing access to opportunities that allow everyone to be successful in life,” said Julius B. Anthony, president, St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature and The Believe Projects. “Together, St. Louis Black Authors of Children's Literature, Nike, and Normandy Schools Collaborative, we can ensure all children become confident and competent readers by the end of third grade.” 

     The project is particularly meaningful for Nike and Normandy, as Craig Williams, President of Jordan Brand at Nike, is a Normandy graduate.

     A ribbon cutting will be announced at a later date.