Friday, April 11, 1997


Article from:Sun Publications (IL) Article date:April 11, 1997More results for:jeanine nicarico Literacy

A $4,000 grant designed to give parents of newborns the tools they need to start their children on the road to literacy will be the centerpiece of the third series of grants distributed by the steering committee of the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Fund for Literacy. The grants, totalling more than $5,300, will be made during an Awards Night reception for employees and volunteers in Naperville Community Unit School District 203 beginning April 24 at 7:30 p.m. at River Woods Elementary School.
Born to Read...Literacy Begins at Birth, by reading specialists Judy Rubenstein of Beebe Elementary School and Wendy Haidinyuk of Prairie Elementary School on behalf of all elementary reading specialists in District 203, received the $4,000 grant.

"We are particularly excited about this grant proposal," said Nicarico Steering Committee member Barb Scott, teacher at River Woods Elementary School.

"This really is a community grant, because it can affect the entire Naperville area."

According to the Born to Read proposal, District 203 elementary reading specialists will develop packets of helpful materials for the parents of newborns.

The packets will be distributed through Edward Hospital, nursery schools, book stores and pediatricians' offices in an attempt to provide a foundation of literacy for young families seeking to enhance language development in their homes.

"The single most important thing parents can do to build the knowledge required for eventual success in reading," said Haidinyuk and Rubenstein in their application, "is to read aloud to their children -- from infancy through their growing-up years."

The $4,000 Nicarico Fund grant will allow the District 203 reading specialists to create the first 176 literacy packets for parents of newborns.

Funding will be sought from other sources for the continuation of their project.

In each packet will be Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook, a coupon that can be exchanged for a Mother Goose board book if the new parents complete a simple survey form, a recommended reading list for preschoolers, a one-year membership to the discount club at Anderson's Bookshops, a video, alphabet and picture books to read to children and other resource materials.

Anderson's Bookshops are discounting by 30 percent the materials purchased through them by the reading specialists.

According to Haidinyuk and Rubenstein, parents should read 1,000 books with their children before they start school.

A child who has been read to about 20 minutes a day since birth will have about 600 hours of reading experience upon entering kindergarten.

As new parents return the survey forms included in the literacy packets, their responses will indicate just how useful, helpful and effective the furnished materials are as they read with their children.

This will help the reading specialists refine their selections as needed.

Other grant proposals to be honored include:

• Books Are for Talking, Too by speech/language pathologist Linda W. Komes of May Watts Elementary School in Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204. Komes receives an $800 grant.

In her role as an advisor to staff and as a speech teacher, Komes plans to develop a collection of books that will inspire appropriate language usage and discussions as adults and children read the books together.

These interactions will strengthen the language base that is so vital to educational and social success, according to Komes.

• A Garden of Knowledge by Julie Geraghty and other kindergarten teachers at May Watts Elementary School.

The $550 Nicarico grant will provide opportunities for the May Watts kindergarten teachers to attend the next two conferences of the Illinois Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, where they will focus on teaching strategies related to the literacy process.

As they implement newly learned instructional techniques, they will evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies for improving students' literacy skills development.

At 7 p.m. on May 7, during a reception conducted at Ellsworth Elementary School by the Nicarico Steering Committee, the spring 1997 grant recipients and their invited guests will hear from fall 1996 recipients how their grant projects have affected literacy awareness and development in the community.

Administered through the Naperville Education Foundation, the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Fund for Literacy was founded in 1995 by a committee of educators in District 203 and members of the Nicarico family as a positive way to remember the fifth-grader who was slain in 1983.

In Jeanine's name, the steering committee awards grants to Naperville area educators who have designed exemplary instruction or staff development activities which will result in faculty gaining a deeper understanding of literacy and related teaching methods.

During spring and fall grant distributions in 1996, the Nicarico Fund presented checks totaling more than $16,000. For information about grants, contact Barb Jansz at River Woods Elementary School, 2607 River Woods Drive, Naperville Ill. 60565-6336.

Inquiries about the fund may be directed to the Naperville Education Foundation, c/o Mary Ann Bobosky, director of community relations, Naperville School District 203, 203 W. Hillside Road, Naperville Ill. 60540-6589 or by calling (630) 420-6815.

Donations may be directed to the foundation at the above address with a notation specifying the Nicarico Fund.

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