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CHRYSLER ANNOUNCES READING PROGRAM FOR KOKOMO FIRST-GRADERS IS EXTENDED FOR ONE YEAR

 CHRYSLER ANNOUNCES READING PROGRAM FOR KOKOMO FIRST-GRADERS
 IS EXTENDED FOR ONE YEAR
 HIGHLAND PARK, Mich., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A three-year program to help Kokomo, Ind., first-graders become life-long readers is being extended an additional year with a grant from the Chrysler Corporation Fund, Chrysler Corporation (NYSE: C) announced today.
 The program, called RUNNING START, will be available in the 1992-93 school year in Kokomo and 11 other cities around the country where Chrysler has facilities.
 The extra year of RUNNING START is made possible by a $1 million grant from the Chrysler Fund. The grant is in addition to the $2.1 million grant from the Fund that established RUNNING START in the 1989-90 school year.
 RUNNING START is a reading incentive program developed by Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). A key component of the program is a challenge that students read, or have read to them, 21 books in a 10-week period.
 In a related development announced by Valerie Becker, National Education Program administrator at Chrysler: A RIF program for second- graders that has a parental involvement component will be added in fall 1992 in most RUNNING START cities, including Kokomo.
 "We are very pleased the Chrysler Corporation Fund has chosen to extend the RUNNING START program," said Dr. Robert E. Lawson, director of Planning, Research and Testing for Kokomo schools. "This has proven to be an excellent way to bring teachers, students and parents together in a pleasurable reading experience which motivates readers of the future."
 RUNNING START's goal is to encourage youngsters to become strong readers for the 21st century. The program includes free books to students and classrooms, plus posters, bookmarks and other materials for schools and homes to help each child, class and family track progress toward the 21-book goal.
 The program for second-graders builds on a well-known RIF model in which students select books three times a year to keep. Parental involvement is a key part of the program. Parents are encouraged to help organize the book distributions, select books, and develop themes and activities for the students.
 "The program for second-graders will help extend the momentum begun through RUNNING START into the next phase of children's reading development," said Ruth Graves, president of RIF.
 RIF is a national non-profit organization that works for literacy where it begins: with America's children. Now in its 25th 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 partnership with schools, businesses and other organizations to help children develop the reading skills that are essential to their future.
 Besides Kokomo, RUNNING START is in Detroit, Highland Park, Avondale and Pontiac, Mich., Toledo, Ohio, St. Louis, Syracuse, N.Y., Savannah, Ga., Phoenix, Newark, Del., and Huntsville, Ala.
 -0- 1/28/92
 /CONTACT: James Kenyon of Chrysler, 313-956-4664; Victoria Heland of Reading Is Fundamental, 202-287-3003; or Dr. Robert E. Lawson of Kokomo Public Schools, 317-455-8000/
 (C) CO: Chrysler Corporation; Reading Is Fundamental; Kokomo Public Schools ST: Indiana IN: AUT SU:


SB -- DE010 -- 4191 01/28/92 11:26 EST
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Date:Jan 28, 1992
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