Media Advisory - For May 2, May 8, and May 10

May 1, 2013

Credit WGBH

Media Advisory

For the Following Dates:

* Thursday, May 2, 9:30am-10:30am - Ewing Grade School, Ewing

* Wednesday, May 8, 8:30-10am - Giant City School, Carbondale

* Friday, May 10, 12:45-2:45pm - North Side School, Fairfield

Contact: Beth Spezia, WSIU Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-5595,

WSIU, Area Schools To Host “Martha Speaks Reading Buddies" Celebrations

Carbondale, Ill. - Reporters, photographers, and camera crews are invited to cover special literacy events at three regional schools on May 2, May 8, and May 10 to mark the conclusion of each school's participation in the “Martha Speaks Reading Buddies Program,” a scientifically-based literacy research initiative designed to strengthen vocabulary and social skills, and to instill a love of reading in young children.

Based on the PBS KIDS series of the same name, Martha Speaks Reading Buddies pairs kindergarten students with third- and fourth-grade readers to watch PBS KIDS videos, participate in word games and other reading-based activities, and share books and journals. Approximately 300 students and teachers from Ewing Grade School in Ewing, Ill., Giant City School in Carbondale, Ill., and North Side School in Fairfield, Ill. participated in the 10-week program this spring. All program participants were included in a comprehensive evaluation process to determine educational and social gains. Results of the evaluations will be announced after all data has been tabulated by WSIU.

Activities at each school will include a PBS KIDS Raising Readers Theater performance of “Perfectly Martha”, presented by WSIU and students; a visit by costume character Martha the Dog from the PBS KIDS series Martha Speaks; animal care demonstrations by veterinarians and humane shelters; and certificates and giveaways for all students who participated in the program. Students also will bring donations they have collected for area animal shelters.

Events are scheduled as follows:

Thursday, May 2, 9:30-10:30am - Ewing Grade School, 51 N. Main, Ewing, Illinois

Wednesday, May 8, 8:30-10am - Giant City School, 1062 Boskeydell Road, Carbondale, Illinois

Friday, May 10, 12:45-2:45pm - North Side School, 806 N. First, Fairfield, Illinois

Interview Opportunities

* Ewing Grade School - lead teacher Tammy Cripps, 618-629-2181, ext. 114,

* Giant City School - lead teacher Kristi Britton, 618-457-5391,

* North Side School - lead teacher Gayle McGehee, 618-847-4341,

* Beth Spezia, Educational Outreach Coordinator, WSIU Public Broadcasting, 618-453-5595,

* Participating veterinarians, vet technicians, and shelter staff

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