Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Good News

Program helps young readers

        Several neighborhoods are getting books through the National Urban League's Read and Rise Program, an initiative designed to prepare children for success.

        After the league received a donation of books from Scholastic Books, it distributed 1,000 books to branch offices to be given to children and families in their communities.

        “We have distributed about 500 books,” said Ella Johnson, project coordinator for the family and community education program of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati. “We passed out books at a block party in Avondale and also gave books to the Ohio Reads Summer Programs. The books are for children kindergarten through the 12th grade.”

        Ms. Johnson said she will distribute books at the Evanston Back to School Rally, Aug. 20, at the Annual Black Family Reunion and through the Centers of Excellence program.

        “The Centers of Excellence are after-school tutoring programs that operate in area churches through a collaboration between the Urban League and the churches. This initiative is consistent with the league's commitment to build strong families and strong children through reading,” Ms. Johnson said.

        Any child in grades K-12 may obtain a book by calling Ms. Johnson at 281-9955 or by visiting the league's Web site at www.gcul.org.

        Staff and volunteers from Frederick A. Breyer School in New Burlington donated time at a summer camp so children who use wheelchairs because of mental retardation or developmental disabilities had a chance to swim.

        The volunteers worked at the Clippard Family YMCA, 8920 Cheviot Road, Groesbeck, during July.

        “We wanted these kids to have the same opportunity as other kids to experience a camp,” said Megan Sexton, a teacher at Breyer School and an organizer of the camp.

        Clippard YMCA has special equipment to help with lifting. Breyer is a school operated by the Hamilton County Board of Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities.

        Volunteers are being sought for the 2002 Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati to be held Sept. 21-22.

        They may register online at www.oktoberfest-zinzinnati.com. The event will be on Fifth Street, stretching from Race Street and Fountain Square to Broadway, downtown. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Sept. 21 and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 22.

        Nick Sowar, chairman of the 2002 Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati Committee, said the event could not go on without the hundreds of volunteers.

        American Hero Day was from noon to 2 p.m. July 31 at The Beach Waterpark. Representatives of the Marine Corps, Cincinnati police and Norwood Fire Department talked about their jobs and the importance of safety. They also answered questions.

        Allen Howard's “Some Good News” column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at ahowardenquirer.com or by fax at (513) 768-8340.


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