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Record Number: 9048
Displayed from: Sep 11, 2012 , until: Sep 16, 2012

Study Connection will kick off its 24th year of helping students with its Annual Celebration and Recognition Breakfast Friday, Sept. 14. The event honors volunteers and students for their accomplishments and will feature keynote speaker Dr. Patricia Edwards, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education and Senior University Outreach Fellow.

The 2012 Tutor of the Year is Dave Thompson, a retiree who has been a volunteer since 2004 and works with students at Price Elementary. The 2012 Student of the year is Raisa Aguilera, who worked with her tutor Walter Vandagriff of Indiana Michigan Power for five years.

Dr. Edwards will speak on the power of literacy. She is known for her exemplary teaching and ability to connect research to practical ideas for classroom teachers. She has authored and edited books on several issues related to literacy and student achievement, including “Change is Gonna Come: Transforming Literacy Education for African-American Children,” “Best Practices in ELL Instruction,” and “Tapping the Potential of Parents: A Strategic Guide to Boosting Student Achievement through Family Involvement.”

She is also the author of two nationally acclaimed family literacy programs: Parents as Partners in Reading: A Family Literacy Training Program and Talking Your Way to Literacy: A Program to Help Non-reading Parents Prepare Their Children for Reading.

Prior to the breakfast, Dr. Edwards will speak with Fort Wayne Community Schools’ elementary building coaches on Thursday afternoon. Following the breakfast Friday morning, she will speak with FWCS School Improvement Coordinators.

Study Connection began in 1989, founded by Don Wolf, retired CEO and president emeritus of Do it Best Corp. In the last two decades an estimated 10,000 students have gone through the program. Volunteers are matched one-to-one with FWCS students who need academic assistance. Students and volunteers meet weekly after school for one hour during the school year with 79 percent of the students bused to and from local businesses for their tutoring sessions. This not only gives students a chance to receive some extra homework help, but also meet a mentor in the community and learn about local career opportunities.

Study Connection has been replicated in other cities across the nation, including Clinton,Iowa, where the Governor recognized it as the 2000 Volunteer Program of the Year. In 2007, Study Connection received the Indiana Youth Institute Award for investing in youth.

The Study Connection breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. Friday at Ceruti's, 6601 Innovation Blvd. Attendance at the breakfast is by invitation only. Media are invited to cover the event.

To get involved with Study Connection, call 467-8811.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.