June 06, 2006

Forest Hills school children get word smart

With gifts of dictionaries from Case's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

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Learning a new word a day for Forest Hill Parkway K-8 Elementary School children in Cleveland just got as easy as turning a page in their new dictionaries—a gift from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. Forest Hill Parkway's children will receive their new books when they are delivered at 1 p.m. on Monday, June 5, to the school on East 112th Street (north of St. Clair Avenue).

The MSASS faculty, staff and students, in collaboration with MSASS' Lillian F. & Milford J. Harris Library Committee, raised more than $1,000 for the special community outreach project in April during the celebration of National Library Week.

"Words are powerful and life giving," said G. Regina Nixon, chair of the Harris Library Committee that directed the community project and is also a faculty member at MSASS. "We want the children at Forest Hill Parkway to experience the light and majesty contained in words."

The project's inspiration came from June Hund, MSASS librarian.

While working late hours, Hund learned through conversations with Dennis Butler on the MSASS custodial staff, and also a parent volunteer and tutor at Forest Hill Parkway School, about the lack of resources for the children in the program and how children leave "empty handed" of reading materials and that many homes do not have dictionaries for children to use during homework.

"Words and reading are the keys of life," said Hund. "Every child deserves to have his or her own dictionary."

Working closely with Forest Hill Parkway's librarian Kimberly Smith and Principal Linda Hardwick (Case '72, M.A.), the project was launched.

"This is a wonderful tool for our children and parents," said Smith.

Originally targeting the children in the tutorial program, donations exceeded their original goal, enabling MSASS to supply every child in grades four through eight with a pocket dictionary and all the children in the tutorial program from kindergarten to third grade with age-appropriate word books.

Older children will receive the pocket dictionaries at the encouragement of MSASS Dean Grover C. Gilmore, who recalled how he carried one with him at that age and used it to learn new words.

Forest Hills Parkway K-8 School is home to 420 children in kindergarten through eighth grade. Two years ago, Case through its Case for Community Day donated equipment and built a playground for the school's children.

For more information: Susan Griffith 216-368-1004.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, June 6, 2006 12:08 PM | News Topics: HeadlinesMain, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

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