The Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation has provided a $2,500 grant for ASDF Bookshelf Program

The Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation has provided a $2,500 grant for ASDF Bookshelf Program
Posted on 01/17/2020
The Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation has provided a $2,500 grant for the Allentown School District Foundation (ASDF) program entitled, I am on a Bookshelf, at Lehigh Parkway Elementary School.  The program, which is in its fifth year, has produced real authors with approximately 150 children who collaborate on multiple grade levels 2-5 throughout the school. Students must qualify to be selected for the program which runs throughout the school year. Students work together creatively and constructively with English Language Arts (ELA) teachers, using tablets, cameras, art materials and computers with sophisticated programming to create their own books, which are then digitally printed by Dan’s Camera City of Allentown and presented at an annual book signing celebration in May at Barnes & Noble at the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall. The Baker Foundation grant helps to cover printing costs for the books that are also included in the school library each year, plus promotion materials for  the Barnes & Noble event, and program coordination. 

“’I am on a Bookshelf’ is a fantastic combination of literacy, creativity, career awareness , self esteem building and voluntary before school fun,” says Ellen Baker Ghelardi, Trustee with The Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation.
“More schools should replicate this initiative because the student enthusiasm and results have been revolutionary. I invite you to read their stories!” 

The program began as a Teacher Innovation Grant (TIG) project and is currently in its fifth year at Lehigh Parkway.  Second grade teacher Donald Stahl founded the program which has involved other teachers and volunteers who work with the students in the various stages of authorship and book creation.  The program has just been approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit as a new EITC program for ASD Foundation, supporting literacy efforts at the elementary level.

I am on a Bookshelf exemplifies how the Foundation supports high academic return, positive educational opportunities for ASD students with partners such as the Baker Foundation. This literacy project helps students realize their creative potential and, culminating with the celebratory event at Barnes & Noble from which students are able to take home free copies of their own books, converts students into authors who can say, “I am on a bookshelf!” In addition to the creative component, I am on a Bookshelf adds a new opportunity to improve learning for ELA students and promotes literacy, a key priority of ASD Foundation initiatives.

“I am on a Bookshelf is the type of program that integrates all facets of writing, comprehension, creativity, technology and actual publishing,” says Susan L. Williams, ASDF Executive Director. “Our kids in Allentown can indeed be creative and exciting authors, sharing extraordinary adventures with their unique voices.  We thank the Baker Foundation for helping to keep this program alive, which deserves to grow. Parents are so proud.”

To see more, go to , the blog by Dan’s Camera.

Allentown School District Foundation Mission
With a vision of enriched education for Allentown School District students, the ASD Foundation has a mission to encourage, promote, support, and fund positive educational experiences for students in the Allentown School District. 

Contact Information
If you would like to learn more, please contact Susan L. Williams,  ASDF Executive Director, at 484-765-4093 or [email protected]. The mailing address is P.O. Box 328, 31 South Penn Street, Allentown PA 18105.