October 19, 1998

Middlebury College's Page 1 Bicentennial Literacy Project to Celebrate National Literacy Action Week from Oct. 25-31

Middlebury College's Page 1 Bicentennial Literacy Project will participate in National Literacy Action Week from Sunday, Oct. 25 through Saturday, Oct. 31 as part of its ongoing promotion of literacy in Addison County. National Literacy Action Week events on campus and throughout the local community include informational opportunities for adults, celebratory events for children, and public service efforts performed by Middlebury College students. Most events are free and open to the public.

The Page 1 Bicentennial Literacy Project was designed as a way for Middlebury College to celebrate, through public service events with the larger community, its 200th birthday. During National Literacy Action Week, students will clean and paint at Vermont Adult Learning in Middlebury, a non-profit organization focused on adult basic literacy, life skills, and career preparation. Other student volunteerism during the week will include sessions with children to explore the joys of reading at the Ripton Elementary School and the Weybridge School.

Page 1 will also host public events throughout National Literacy Action Week:

On Monday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. a community information meeting will be held at Kirk Alumni Center on Golf Course Road off South Main Street (Route 30). All are welcome.

Later that day at 4:45 p.m. in the Redfield Proctor Room, a Vermont Adult Learning representative will talk about literacy issues. Redfield Proctor is located in Proctor Hall on Hepburn Road, off College Street (Route 125). The lecture is free, and refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, Oct. 27 will be a day of storytelling. At 4 p.m. in the lounge of Gifford Hall, Vermont author Phoebe Stone will share her writings, including her children's book What Night Do the Angels Wander? Gifford Hall is on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125).

Also on Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. there will be a coffee house/international storytelling event in the Gamut Room, located in the basement of Gifford Hall on Hepburn Road. Participants are encouraged to bring stories from different countries and cultures around the world. Tuesday's events are free.

Friday evening from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. there will be an open mic at the Middlebury College Grille for poetry, stories and readings. The Grille is located in McCullough Student Center on the main campus. Admittance is free.

Saturday, Oct. 31 at 10:30 a.m. a three-mile "literacy fun run" will begin at Twilight Park, on College Street (Route 125). The running route will loop through the cross country trail behind the College's field house, and return to Twilight Park for free refreshments. Participants should arrive by 10 a.m. to register. Registration is $6 and will include a complimentary Page 1 "fun run" t-shirt.

On Saturday, Oct. 31 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Page 1's "Trick or Treating & Reading" will offer parents and children four locations for storytelling, mask-making, and other Hallowe'en activities: the Ilsley Library, Vermont Book Shop, Otter Creek Used Books and the Swift House Inn. The afternoon's grand finale will be at the Swift House Inn with pumpkin-painting, refreshments and a costume parade around the grounds at 4 p.m. Saturday's activities are free.

The National Institute for Literacy reports that more than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level-far below the level needed to earn a living. In 1993, the National Adult Literacy Survey reported that approximately 24 percent of adults in Addison County are not functionally literate-they do not have the skills required to read road signs, fill out job applications, or read basic stories to their children. Further research indicates that patterns of literacy, illiteracy, and under-education are intergenerational issues-a child's literacy level is strongly linked to the educational levels of their parents (National Institute for Literacy). The Page 1 Literacy Project encourages all members of the Middlebury community to join in the promotion of literacy and reading through volunteerism and donation of books to local organizations.

For further information, contact student organizers Abby Stoller at (802) 443-7277, Jill Anderson (802) 443-6002; or Elana Wilson (802) 443-7321.