WMU News

Bailey connects with kids through 'reading party'

June 3, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University President Judith I. Bailey was among the community leaders who read to children in Kalamazoo's Bronson Park as part of Stand for Children Day, May 26.

The annual "reading party" in the park was sponsored by Ready to Read, Kalamazoo Public Library's early childhood literacy program. Co-hosts included Child Care Resources, the Children's Hospital at Bronson and K/RESA's "Ready, Set, Succeed" program.

More than 800 children and 30 community leaders were on hand for the event, which included visits from storybook characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Little Red Riding Hood and the Cat in the Hat. Every child who attended received a free book, juice box and animal crackers, courtesy of the Kalamazoo Public Library.

Stand for Children Day began in 1996 with the largest demonstration for children in U.S. history at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Every year since then, communities in every state have celebrated the day on or around June 1, working to raise awareness about issues that affect children and showing support for children.

In addition to President Bailey, Kalamazoo-area leaders who participated in the May 26 reading included Kalamazoo Mayor Robert Jones; Deb Buchholtz-Hiemstra, chair of the Kalamazoo County Commission; Kalamazoo County Administrator Don Gilmer; Kalamazoo Gazette writers Bill Krasean and Linda Mah; Don Cooney, Kalamazoo city commissioner and WMU faculty member; and Bob Miller, WMU associate vice president for community outreach.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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