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ACEI awards Mini-Grant honors.

ACEI is proud to announce that Joohi Lee, Smita Guha, and Karen H. Burke are recipients of the 2003 Elizabeth Breathwaite Mini-Grant. The award provides winners with a mini-grant (maximum $500) for the implementation of outstanding educational experiences for children.

Joohi Lee, Ph.D. candidate at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN, was awarded the Breathwaite Mini-Grant based on a project proposal he developed called "Only for You" (OFU). The purpose of this project was to enhance the literacy development of approximately forty 4- to 7-year-old economically deprived children of the Cholongsam Preschool and Kindergarten. Located among urban and rural areas near Paju City, Kyounggido, Korea (ROK), the project will involve local high school students who perform community service as a requirement of graduation.

OFU will involve students from three high schools and one paid coordinator to provide mentor training sessions, plan literacy activities, select children's books, and assess mentor participation and the children's literacy developmental status. The project outcome will be shared with colleagues via documentation, reports, and presentations, and will be featured at a conference to be held by the Korean Early Childhood Association, the most well-known early childhood organization in Korea.

"One of the required community services is working with low income services," Lee said. "For this reason, involving high school students as mentors will be very efficient. Each child will have his/her own mentor to enhance literacy development, and each high school student will have a unique experience working with children from poverty."

Smita Guha, an Assistant Professor at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, has developed a proposed project called "Facilitating Literacy, Among At-Risk Children in India" that will support the work of Udbhas, an organization that for the last 12 years has promoted literacy education among children living in the slums of Calcutta, India. Udbhas, funded by small donations and member subscriptions, has no shelter in which to teach children. Four teachers hold classes for 40 students in the open-air, every day, for a monthly salary of 100 rupees (approximately $2.10 USD). The proposed project will procure a tent to shelter children from the elements as they continue their learning.

Information about the project was published in the Summer 2002 issue of Childhood Education and discussed in a presentation by Guha at the 2000 ACEI Annual International Conference & Exhibition. More information will be shared with childhood education professionals through a research article that Guha will write concerning the growth and development of the children at Udbhas.

"Having a tent [will allow] children to continue their education without the fear of being disrupted and teachers would be able to schedule their programs without worrying about so-called natural or environmental barriers," Guha said. "They can then focus on their basic principle--educating children in the slums."

Karen H. Burke, Assistant Superintendent of the Maine School Administrative District 6, Gorham, ME, was selected as a recipient of a Breathwaite Mini-Grant based on her project "Using Picture Books in the Intermediate Grades To Build Comprehension Strategies (Grades 3-5)." The project will include an inservice course for 3rd- to 5th-grade teachers that utilizes pre-selected picture books to teach comprehension strategies. Teachers will utilize picture books and corresponding strategies, share student work with colleagues, adapt activities to other books of their choice, and report results.

The project and results will be shared among participants via a special folder on the Internet and in a service course that is open to district staff members, in reports to the local school board, and with other childhood education specialists at the 2004 ACEI Annual International Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans.
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Title Annotation:ACEI Awards And Honors; Association for Childhood Education International
Publication:Childhood Education
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2004
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