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2011.12.05 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

College of Education Students Help Preschoolers Learn Literacy

Omaha - Omaha – The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Roskens Hall, home to UNO’s College of Education, will host preschoolers from the Yates Early Learning Center this Tuesday, Dec. 6 to culminate a semester-long project organized by the UNO Service Learning Academy.

Throughout the 2011 fall semester, UNO early childhood education students have partnered with the Native American preschool class at Yates and the Omaha Family Literacy Partnership, under the coordination of UNO’s Service Learning Academy, to encourage listening comprehension and other important literacy skills for early childhood development.

To celebrate the end of this semester’s projects, Anna Dewdney, author and illustrator of the award-winning book Llama, Llama Red Pajama, will appear to help facilitate a discussion between the participating UNO and Yates students. Dewdney will also be reading and signing her new picture book Llama Llama Home with Mama in the Roskens Hall Ideas Room at 10 a.m.

The partnership between the four groups began in October as early childhood teacher candidates from UNO participated in Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record Day,” an event calling awareness to the importance of reading to your children. At the event, UNO students read Dewdney’s book to the Yates preschoolers and used communication strategies and a book-related craft activity to enhance the experience. Every preschooler got to take home his or her own copy of the book afterwards.

UNO students will continue their partnership with Yates next semester as they lead four family literacy celebrations at the Yates Early Learning Center.

For more information, please contact Lucy Garza-Westbrook by phone at (402) 554.3055 or lgarza@unomaha.edu; Susan McWilliams, UNO Professor of Early Childhood Education at (402) 554.3457 or smcwilliams@unomaha.edu; Tami Maldonado-Mancebo at (402) 557.2459. or Tami.Maldonado-Mancebo@ops.org; Luanne Nelson, Omaha Public Schools at (402) 557.2070 or Luanne.Nelson@ops.org; Sarah English, Youth Services Coordinator, Omaha Public Library at (402) 444.4808 or senglish@omahalibrary.org.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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