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Release: Immediate

May 8 event recognizes UI work-study tutors and their students

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa organizers of a federal program that matches UI students with elementary school children who can benefit from some extra help reading will recognize the tutors, their students and the program's sponsors during an event at 7 p.m. Friday,May 8.

The "America Reads Challenge" Tutoring Program will hold its year-end celebration in the gymnasium of Grant Wood Elementary School, 1930 Lakeside Dr. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

America Reads Challenge is an initiative created by President Clinton and designed to use college and university student employees as reading tutors for elementary-age children. The UI portion of the program began in fall 1997.

The students are paid through the federal work-study program in a project coordinated jointly through the UI College of Education, the UI Office of Student Services, and the UI Office of Student Financial Aid.

Project Supervisor Peggy Rowell says the first year has been a success, with 38 tutors (including 10 who volunteered as non-paid tutors) helping 115 children in five Iowa City elementary schools.

"It's been a very rewarding year for all of us," Rowell says. "The year-end celebration is our way of thanking the students for their good work and of recognizing all the children who participated in the America Reads tutoring program."

The ceremony will include remarks by Rowell and project director Cathy Roller, professor in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction. Also on hand will be members of the UI administration and the Iowa City Community School District.

Business supporters Target Stores and Staple's: The Office Store, which each donated supplies, and the College of Education, which donated books for the children, will be honored for their help in the project.

The UI is one of more than 160 universities and colleges in the United States taking part in America Reads Challenge. The UI Office of Student Financial Aid has received more than $100,000 in work-study money for the America Reads Challenge program in the 1997-98 budget year.