DOVER — Seacoast Endowment for Education in Dover (SEED), a nonprofit organization dedicated to lifting academic excellence in Dover schools, accepted a $4,159 donation from The Rotary Club of Dover to help fund two literacy grants in Dover public schools.

According to Rotary Club of Dover President Jim Munro, literacy is one of the club’s main areas of focus. “We are pleased to provide SEED funding for these targeted reading initiatives and applaud their efforts to support teachers and promote educational excellence for Dover students.”

The first literacy grant, awarded to Dover High School Language Arts Teacher Leslie Hocking, will be used to underwrite her Reading for Fun proposal valued at $2,500. A longitudinal study spearheaded by Dr. Mariah Evans of the University of Nevada, Reno, found the greater the number of books in a household, the greater the positive impact on the child.

The funding will provide every freshman at Dover High a book of their choice, free of charge as part of their high school orientation. In conjunction with a $5,000 sponsorship from Barnes and Nobles, the students will have a variety of current, high-interest books to select. “This grant reaches students in a way that no classroom does, filling an important gap in their education,” said Hocking.

The second grant award was bestowed to Kelly Cote to purchase literacy supplies and tools for the entire Woodman Park School first grade, which consists of approximately 120 students. The two-part grant will allow for Take Home Reading Bags—backpacks filled with reading level books for first grade students to transport to and from home—and provide socially distanced classroom tools such as individual seat pockets to keep student materials organized and easily accessible during learning times; clipboards for use during outside learning time; and classroom stools for flexible seating options.

In a 2019 article published in ScienceDirect, a study found that immersing children in book-orientated environments benefits their later educational achievement, attainment, and occupational standing. “Many of our students come from families of low economic status that may not have access to quality books appropriate for their reading skills,” said Cote “The Take Home Reading Bags provide students with access to quality books so they can read daily at home.”

To learn more about SEED and its mission to create a legacy for educational excellence in Dover public schools, visit