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WMC receives grant to encourage youths to read


An $8,000 grant from the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust in Baltimore will fund a project at Western Maryland College designed to encourage young adults to read.

The project, to be offered as a summer institute through the college's graduate programs in reading and library science/media -- the latter is the only one of its kind in the state -- will broaden the instructional repertoire of school librarians and teachers in promoting reading among teen-agers.

The five-day institute, "Motivating Young Adult Readers," will meet July 19-23. It will bring together educators, public librarians and other interested people to hear presentations by recognized leaders in reading instruction for young people and to practice various techniques for encouraging reading by young adults.

The practice sessions will be videotaped for the participants to critique, and during the regular school year participants will use some of the techniques in their own libraries and classrooms.

Some of these real-life experiences also will be videotaped and placed in the Curriculum Materials Center in the college's Hoover Library, where they will be available for use by graduate students and other professionals in the field.

As a sign of its commitment to the project, Western Maryland will offer three graduate credits for the institute at a tuition reduced by $100 per student. Enrollment will be limited to 30 participants to encourage active interchange.

Although the Edwards Trust grant offers one year of support to the program, it is expected that the institute will become a multi-year project within the college's graduate program.

The project will be co-directed by Drs. Paula Montgomery, coordinator of library/media science at Western Maryland, and Joan D. Coley, coordinator of reading and dean of graduate affairs at the college.

The Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust is named for the librarian of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, who built the institution's young-adult reading service into a nationally known showcase for the encouragement of teen-age readers.

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