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VOL. 115 | NO. 87 | Monday, May 7, 2001

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Assisi Foundation Awards Grants for Literacy Initiative Assisi awards literacy grants Eleven projects dealing with the promotion of community-wide reading and learning received Assisi Foundation grants recently. The University of Memphis program, "Raising the Literacy Bar: Professional Development in Reading Instruction," received a $20,000 grant to expand its present professional development needs for the Mid-South. The program will work in collaboration with Memphis City Schools, Shelby County Schools and Memphis area independent schools to increase the level of literacy in the greater Memphis area. The First Regional Library, Hernando, Miss., project "First Place for Families" received a $16,000 grant to assist in funding educational materials, workshops and other activities. The program is designed to encourage parents and care givers to be more fully engaged in reading to their children and the educational experience of their children. The program will host monthly Family Reading Nights, increase accessibility to appropriate parent-teacher materials, offer workshops for child care providers and create a more literacy-friendly environment for children, parents and child care providers. First Place is a collaborative effort of the Family Resource Center of DeSoto County Schools, the DeSoto County Literacy Council and Trustmark National Bank of Horn Lake. Two Girard-Hamilton Writing and Illustrating Workshop for Kids projects at Macon and Caldwell Schools received a $17,185 grant. The grant will continue book-writing workshops in first through fourth grades at Macon Elementary. The program also will produce a cookbook at Caldwell containing a family history of the Caldwell School neighborhood. A book on tape, video and public performance are planned. The Literacy Council of Crittenden County is joining forces with community businesses, agencies and schools to promote literacy instruction in at least five work sites throughout the county. The project received a $20,000 grant. Its goals are to increase employee productivity and retention rates, increase employee satisfaction and improve relations with employees and employers. Businesses indicating an interest in participating are Crittenden Memorial Hospital, Wal-Mart and IBA/SteriGenics. Memphis City Schools received a $20,000 grant for its "First Steps" initiative, which is designed to increase and promote early literacy achievement in the school system and community. Project goals include educating parents about their role in early literacy development through newsletters and meetings, a community forum, and early literacy conference and a professional development session. Memphis City Schools received a $15,000 grant to support the creation of a Parent Learning Academy, which is aimed to increase parent involvement through courses offered in four sections of the city. Parents will be provided with information and tools needed to become involved parents. The Memphis Literacy Council received an $18,727 grant for its "Read to Me" program, which is designed to encourage parents and care givers to read aloud every day to their infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Local businesses, schools and churches donate books for families. Last year, more than 700 families participated. The projects goal is to serve 2,000 families. A $15,500 grant went to the Memphis and Shelby County Public Library and Information Center to expand its reading services to seniors. Through the collaboration with Senior Services, Wesley Highland Manor and Linden Camilla Towers, the library will expand its Partners in Lifelong Learning by purchasing large print books and books on tape. The St. Agnes and St. Dominic School Writer Series project was awarded a $10,800 grant to help the project invite authors and illustrators to the school to present their craft and conduct writing workshops. A $2,000 grant went to The Tipton County Commission on Aging, a group proposing to implement a "Senior Readers" program designed to provide an environment where older students may improve reading skills or learn to read. The grant will purchase large print books and magazines and books on tape. The Assisi Foundation of Memphis Inc. will use $20,000 to develop a local health literacy initiative. A national study found that people with low literacy skills use more health care services and literacy nationwide costs $73 billion a year in misdirected or misunderstood health care services. The project will include participants from both the Memphis Shelby County Medical Society and the Bluff City Medical Society.
PROPERTY SALES 50 389 12,758
MORTGAGES 21 248 8,003
BUILDING PERMITS 295 813 29,934
BANKRUPTCIES 35 164 6,064