Saturday, January 19, 2002

Fest puts focus on education

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The foundation and value of education will be center stage today at the 17th Annual African Culture Fest.

        The free, three-day fest at the Cincinnati Museum Center in Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., West End, starts at noon today through Monday.

        At noon Sunday, Dr. O'Dell Owens, a pioneer in the field of infertility treatment, and Dr. Obadiah Williams, a specialist in early childhood education, discuss “Education 2002: Strategies for Our Community.”

        Dr. Williams created a program 15 years ago, called Early Childhood and Parent Training. It now serves 109 families and is based at 140 W. Ninth St., downtown.

        “Too many children enter school without a cognitive foundation for education. We must remember that parents are the child's first teacher. A good education starts with parental interaction,” he said.

        Dr. Owens is involved with GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams) in several Cincinnati public schools. It trains teachers in working with urban children.

        “I want to emphasize to parents and teachers to not write a child off at an early age. Some children are late bloomers,” Dr. Owens said.

        The African Culture Fest is part of the Passport-to-the-World series, a celebration that encourages learning and growth for everyone through performances, arts and crafts.

        Programs will run from noon to 5 p.m. each day. Activities are free and open to the public, except a general admission fee is charged for activities in the museums.

        For more information, call, 287-7000 or visit the museum center's Web site at


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