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CALENDAR ITEM: MU Students Share Love of Reading with Local Schoolchildren

January 31st, 2011

Story Contact: Emily Martin, (573) 882-3346,

WHAT: The University of Missouri Association for Black Graduate and Professional Students (ABGPS) is collaborating with the Columbia Public School District to launch a new reading program during the first week of Black History Month 2011. Association members will kick off the initiative by reading to children in their classrooms; district teachers will read ethnic pride-themed books to classes throughout February.

Anthony James, ABGPS president and graduate student in the MU Department of Human Development and Family Studies, worked with Peter Stiepleman, assistant superintendent for elementary education for Columbia public schools, to begin the reading program.

“The idea for this program came from my own love of reading to children,” James said. “I often read to my children’s classes. Additionally, through my research in human development and family studies, I’ve learned about the power of reading to kids. Through this program, MU students will have opportunities to share their excitement for reading with younger students and inspire them to read.”

WHO: As members of ABGPS, black graduate and professional students receive academic support and participate in outreach and networking opportunities to promote positive experiences at MU.


WHERE: Monday, Jan. 31: 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Derby Ridge Elementary

Tuesday, Feb. 1: 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Cedar Ridge Elementary

Wednesday, Feb. 2: 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Benton Elementary

Thursday, Feb. 3: 10:30 a.m. at Blue Ridge Elementary

Friday, Feb. 4: 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Benton Elementary

NOTE: For more information, contact Anthony James at, or Angela Gist, MU doctoral student in communication, at