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Target, UB Support Second Year of CityLit Kids

The second year of CityLit Kids (2010-11 highlights here) kicked off today with financial support from two new sources.

CityLit landed its first Target Foundation grant from its Arts and Culture in Schools program, which "helps schools bring more arts and culture into the classroom, enabling {students} to expand their creativity and their horizons." Program co-creator and UB faculty member Jane Delury is also the recipient of a grant from Baltimore Renaissance Scholars Seed Fund, through the Office of the Provost, which "aims to support projects that create University of Baltimore involvement with the greater Baltimore community through action research, service-learning, or other forms of academic engagement."

"CityLit Kids is important on many levels, so this level of support not only validates the new program, but has provided for its expansion so that we can have a deeper impact in the lives of more kids," said Gregg Wilhelm, executive director, CityLit Project.

In its second year at Govans Elementary School in north Baltimore, CityLit Kids brings the literary arts to life with weekly read-aloud times and creative writing exercises.  Authors also make in-class visits to answer student questions and encourage the on-going habit of reading.  The fourth-grade curriculum, tweaked from last year's pilot program, will be delivered by University of Baltimore graduate students Emily Lee and Lori Miller. The new fifth-grade curriculum will be delivered by CityLit Kids co-creators Jane Delury, Christine Grillo, and Elissa Weissman, who also supervise the UB graduates (including Tracy Gnadinger, who serves as publishing intern). Many of last year's fourth graders are participating again this year as fifth graders.

In addition to getting children excited about books and more confident in their writing abilities, program outcomes included increased vocabulary, focused attention, and sharper critical thinking skills.  CityLit Kids will again run through the academic year to May 2012.



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