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Redbirds read to students at Sugar Creek Elementary

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[APRIL 28, 2005]  NORMAL -- Student-athletes from Illinois State University read to children at Sugar Creek Elementary School on Wednesday morning as part of the State Farm/Missouri Valley Conference's community outreach program, "Just Read!" The Redbirds visited with the students while answering questions and reading books to them.

Among the ISU student-athletes who read to the children were Lian Lucas, a track and field participant; Andrea Mosher, track and field; Shawn Wiza, football; Catherine Graham, womenís basketball; Kaitlin Schneider, swimming and diving; Ronnie Carlwell, menís basketball; Brent Hawkins, football; Jesse Janik, volleyball; and Ryan Brown, golf.

Mosher sees this opportunity as a great experience and a way to interact in the community.

"Itís always fun to go to the schools and interact with the kids," Mosher said. "This program gives us a great opportunity to be active in the community."

Carlwell, who has been involved in the reading program since last year, really enjoys the experience.

"Reading and interacting with the kids is a lot of fun," Carlwell said. "I participated in the program last year and enjoyed doing it, so I knew I wanted to continue to be involved this year. Itís cool to see how much the kids enjoy us reading to them and asking us questions."

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The Missouri Valley Conference started the program in November 1998, and it is co-sponsored by State Farm Insurance. Student-athletes visit local elementary schools, reading books and relating the impact that reading has had on their lives. Video segments from each visit are aired during the league's basketball television package.

For more information regarding Illinois State's visit to Sugar Creek Elementary School or future visits, contact Jane Fulton at (309) 438-2750. For more information regarding the reading program, contact Jack R. Watkins at (314) 421-0339, ext. 327, or Sarah Weier at (314) 421-0339, ext. 318, of the Missouri Valley Conference.

[Illinois State University news release]


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