Friday, November 7, 2003

Fitting Tribute: Naperville ABC Poster Fund Raiser

Fitting tribute; Poster fund-raiser for Nicarico fund unveiled at Elmwood School
Article from:The Sun - Naperville (IL) Article date:November 7, 2003Author:Britt Carson More results for:"barb jansz"

Kitty Ryan, left, and Terry Elkin Pocius, Jeanine Nicarico's fifth-grade teacher, look at the "Naperville ABCs" poster designed for the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Literacy Fund while Harriet Treacy, left in background, and Kathy Nicarico, Jeanine's sister, talk. The poster was unveiled for the at Elmwood Elementary School on Thursday and will soon be available for purchase.

For a short time, Jeanine Nicarico struggled with reading. However, with the help of her teachers and family, the bright-eyed 10-year-old overcame the challenge and learned to love reading. Friends and family of Jeanine unveiled a new fund-raiser Thursday at Elmwood Elementary School, where Jeanine attended, to ensure the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Literacy Fund continues on to help others tackle the challenge of reading.
"She had struggled with reading for a time and literacy seemed the right way to honor her," said Barb Jansz, chairman of the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Literacy Fund.

The fund was established in 1996 to honor Jeanine, who was kidnapped from her home and killed in 1983. The fund awards grants for literacy programs to teachers in Naperville. The newest fund-raiser is called "Naperville ABCs," which is a watercolor drawing of Naperville landmarks and monuments, one for each letter of the alphabet.

"Naperville is such an incredible community," said Harriet Treacy, a member of the memorial fund. "Naperville families can have this as a memento so they can think of all the great things that go on in Naperville."

Two of Jeanine's former teachers were there to celebrate the occasion and reminisced about their former student.

"She was so upbeat and loved coming to school," said Irene Rahder, Jeanine's fourth-grade teacher, who still teaches at Elmwood. "She was so energetic and loved horses. She would bring in all her trophies to school and was just the neatest little kid."

Jeanine loved horses, and a painting of horses in her honor hangs in the main office at Elmwood.

Jeanine's sister Kathy Nicarico said the print is a wonderful depiction of Naperville.

"It brings everything together," Kathy Nicarico said. "I love everything about it."

The 8 1/2 -inch-by-11-inch print depicts well-known places and events such as Naper Settlement, Ribfest and the Millennium Carillon.

"I used to work at the paddleboats and got engaged on the Riverwalk," Kathy Nicarico said. The paddleboats and the Riverwalk are both featured on the print.

Terry Elkin Pocius, who was Jeanine's fifth-grade teacher, said the print would make a nice gift for the holidays or for friends who might have moved away.

"It is a wonderful keepsake and memento," she said.

The ideas for each letter of the alphabet came from second-graders in Naperville School District 203 and Indian Prairie School District 204. Allen then took the ideas and took a trolley tour of the city in April to see everything up close. She has also designed similar prints for Door County in Wisconsin, Galena and her hometown of Dubuque, Iowa.

Ray Kinney at Minute Man Press and Kevin Colbert of Colbert Custom Framing donated the cost of printing and matting for the project. Colbert's mother used to volunteer at Elmwood and helped Jeanine on several occasions.

The print will also be available at book fairs in District 203.

Jeanine's father, Tom Nicarico, was at Elmwood on Thursday to thank everyone for their time and devotion to the fund.

"A lot of hard work and effort went into this," Tom Nicarico said.

Kathy Nicarico agreed with her dad and said this is an excellent way to honor her sister.

"Words cannot express my feelings," she said. "I just wish they would have all gotten to meet her."


"Naperville ABCs" prints will be available in about a week. The cost is $15 for an unmatted print or $20 for a matted print. Prints will be available at Anderson's Bookshop, Naper Settlement, Minute Man Press and Colbert Custom Framing. All proceeds benefit the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Literacy Fund. For more information, visit

[] Contact staff writer Britt Carson at or at (630) 416-5269.