WMU News

'America Reads' panel discussion held

January 28, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- An effort to help elementary schoolchildren improve their reading skills will gain momentum during an evening panel discussion Thursday, Feb. 11, on Kalamazoo Valley Community College's Oshtemo campus.

Panelists will discuss the America Reads Challenge, a federal program started by President William Clinton that puts volunteer and paid work-study college students, including those from Western Michigan University, into classrooms to help youngsters with their reading both one-on-one and in small groups. The program is part of a nationwide push to have all third-grade students reading at grade level by the year 2000.

The event is sponsored by the WMU chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, an international professional fraternity of educators. People who attend will learn more about the America Reads Challenge and how to start the program in their school.

Panelists include Roger Miller, KVCC assistant vice president of student affairs; Dr. Bruce Kocher, KVCC vice president; Mary Jane Frederick, director of early childhood and elementary education for Portage Public Schools; Linda Teare, director of staff development for Portage Public Schools; and Judi Beam, reading consultant for Portage Public Schools.

Work-study students involved in the American Reads Challenge also will take part.

The evening begins with a dinner at 6 p.m. Dinner reservations should be made by Monday, Feb. 1, by calling Beam at 372-6633. The panel presentation begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Reservations are not required for the panel discussion.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 616 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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