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Dillon schoolchildren read to CareyTown Preschoool children

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (April 15, 2004) -- The fourth graders at Dillon Elementary are experiencing first hand the rewards of giving back to their community, and their teachers are delighted their students are participating in "Children Reading to Children," an innovative project that also happens to meet state requirements.

In celebration of National Week of the Young Child April 18-24, Ohio University-Zanesville Jumpstart students are helping the fourth graders make their own books they will then read to the children at CareyTown Preschool from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on April 23. Fourth graders will participate in a celebratory party afterwards back at Dillon, where Jumpstart will provide refreshments and awards for each author.

Fourth graders in the classrooms of Dillon Elementary school teachers Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Johnson, and Mrs. Lauvray are participating in the project. Special education teachers Miss Dunlap and Miss Brown are also participating with their students, and Mrs. Carpenter, Dillon Elementary Principal, has enthusiastically supported the project.

Before getting started, the Jumpstart members encouraged the children to think about what things they thought made a good book for preschoolers. During the past few weeks the fourth graders have been drafting their books, rewriting them, critiquing each other's books, revising again, typing the final copy on the computer, and creating illustrations for each page.

The project initially started out with 25 fourth graders in one classroom participating in the project, but soon all 70 fourth graders from Dillon were involved. As part of Ohio's Language Arts Outcomes, fourth graders are required to write stories for a variety of audiences.

Jumpstart site manager Colleen Romito said, "By combining Jumpstart's goal of exposing preschoolers to reading with the fourth grade requirements, these children have a fun and functional project that also emphasizes community service."

The Jumpstart program combines the energy of young people and the resources of colleges and universities in a one-to-one tutoring program for preschoolers, contributing towards the day when every child enters school prepared to succeed.

Jumpstart sessions always include the same core elements: one-to-one reading, circle time, and choice/small group activity. Lesson plans include literacy and social relations experiences implemented through developmentally appropriate hands-on activities.

Only the third school in Ohio to apply for the campus-based affiliate program, Ohio University-Zanesville's involvement in Jumpstart expands academic learning through hands-on community service while also providing financial assistance for college students who serve as part-time Americorp members.

For more information on the university's involvement in the Jumpstart program, contact Colleen Romito at (740) 588-1555 or at romitoc@ohio.edu.

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Media Contacts: Public Relations Coordinator Connie Shriver, (740) 588-1509 or shriverc@ohio.edu

Editors: Members of the media are invited to attend the "Children Reading to Children" event 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on April 23 at CareyTown Preschool, 527 Pershing Road. For more information, contact Romito at (740) 588-1555.

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