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STORYTELLER JACKIE TORRENCE WILL ENTERTAIN FIRST-GRADERS IN HIGHLAND PARK WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13

 HIGHLAND PARK, Mich., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Nationally acclaimed storyteller Jackie Torrence will weave her magic for Highland Park first-grade students and their parents Wednesday to help kick off a reading program funded by the Chrysler Corporation Fund.
 Torrence will perform at two Highland Park schools on behalf of RUNNING START(R), a reading incentive program for first-graders. The program is in 12 cities around the country where Chrysler has facilities.
 Torrence will tell stories to first-graders at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13 in the second-floor library of Liberty Elementary School, 16535 Joslyn.
 Hundreds of students and their parents are expected at a RUNNING START Reading Rally at 4 p.m. on Wednesday in the auditorium of Highland Park Community High School, 15900 Woodward, south of Six Mile Road.
 Torrence specializes in African-American tales, Appalachian folklore and ghost stories. With a repertoire of more than 300 stories from around the world, Torrence is one of America's outstanding storytellers.
 RUNNING START was developed by Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF) with $3.1 million in grants from the Chrysler Corporation Fund. A key component of the program is a challenge that students read, or have read to them, 21 books in a 10-week period. The challenge period for the Highland Park students is Jan. 13 through March 24.
 Last year 95 percent of Highland Park first-graders completed the challenge to read 21 books in 10 weeks. Nationally the success rate was 91 percent.
 This is the fourth year the Chrysler Fund has sponsored the program. Highland Park is the first city to begin the RUNNING START program for the 1992-93 school year.
 The 11 other RUNNING START cities are Detroit, Pontiac, Avondale, Phoenix, Ariz., Kokomo, Ind., Huntsville, Ala., Syracuse, N.Y., Newark, Del., Belvidere, Ill., St. Louis, and Toledo, Ohio.
 RIF is a national nonprofit organization that works for literacy where it begins: with America's children. Now in its 27th year, RIF is the nation's oldest and largest reading motivation program. Through its network of local projects and special initiatives such as RUNNING START, RIF works in partnerships with schools, businesses and other organizations to help children develop the reading skills that are essential to their future.
 -0- 1/12/93
 /CONTACT: James Kenyon of Chrysler Corp., 313-956-4664; or Sandra Thompson of Highland Park Schools, 313-252-1742/
 (C)


CO: Chrysler Corporation; Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: SU:

JG -- DE011 -- 4036 01/12/93 12:36 EST
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Date:Jan 12, 1993
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