FAYETTE, Iowa (April 28, 2008) - "Author Night" was held Tues., April 1, at G.D. Jones Elementary School. In addition to meeting well-known children's author Diane de Groat, each student was able to take home a book donated by students, faculty and staff from Upper Iowa University's Wausau center.
According to Vicki Anderson, coordinator for the UIU-Wausau center, the book drive started this past Christmas when they were looking for a community involvement project. She said, "We wanted to do a project that involved education and lifelong learning, so it only seemed natural to turn to one of our faculty members with expertise in this area for a suggestion."
Corinne Solsrud is director of the Marathon County Literacy Council, as well as a UIU faculty member acting as a senior project advisor. Solsrud recommended two events that would meet Anderson's criteria-"Family Reading Nights" put on by the local Rotary Club and G.D. Jones' event.
Since Family Reading Nights limits the number of families that can attend due to funding-only five families per school-the decision was made to go with G.D. Jones. "We thought it would be a nice way to reach more families, and make their affair special," said Anderson.
Over 100 books were collected at the UIU-Wausau center from signs posted requesting donations for new children's books. Additional books were also purchased by UIU-Wausau and through funds donated by Anderson's mother, who was a librarian in Davenport for over 30 years. "I grew up in a household with a mother who was a librarian," said Anderson. "Her inspiration to read will forever be instilled in all of her children and grandchildren."
According to G.D. Jones Elementary Parent Partnership Site Coordinator Rose Voigt, "The focus on reading was truly reinforced by the ability to send each child home with a book that evening." She added, ""That would not have been possible without the generosity of Upper Iowa University."
For more information about Upper Iowa University-Wausau, contact the center at 715-675-2775 or visit www.uiu.edu.
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