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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

SU Receives $49,974 Bush Foundation Literacy Grant

SALISBURY, MD---Is parental involvement important in teaching children to read? Faculty at Salisbury University think so, and so do members of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

Three faculty in SU’s Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies—Drs. Gwen Beegle and Joyce Wiencek of the Education Specialties Department and Chin-Hsiu Chen of the Teacher Education Department, recently received a $49,974 grant from the foundation’s Maryland Family Literacy Initiative to support the “Promoting Literacy at Home: Parents and Children Talking, Reading, Writing and Creating Brighter Futures” program at the University’s May Literacy Center.

Focusing on pre-kindergarten through grade two children's language and literacy development, the program allows parents and children to attend weekly sessions at the center and participate in a field trip each month. The program targets some 60 families from five Wicomico County elementary schools—Fruitland Primary, Charles Chipman, Beaver Run, Prince Street and Pinehurst—said Wiencek, the center’s director. Participating families receive books and other materials to support literacy within their homes.

“This is a remarkable achievement for Salisbury University and for the May Literacy Center,” said Dr. Dennis Pataniczek, Seidel School dean. “Our hopes to expand the May Center's activities just took a giant leap with this Barbara Bush Foundation award.  I'm so proud of the faculty and partners who participated in writing this grant.”

The faculty accepted the grant during the foundation’s sixth annual Maryland Celebration of Reading, which featured former President George H.W. Bush, former First Lady Barbara Bush and several bestselling authors including Doris Kearns Goodwin, Kelly Corrigan, Art Smith, Brad Thor, Mike Krzyzewski and Jamie K. Spatola.

Founded by Mrs. Bush in 1989, the foundation supports the development of an expansion in family literacy programs throughout the United States. This year some $472,426 went to 10 programs in Maryland, including SU’s.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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