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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - SEHS Student Organization wins grants to further literacy

Oakland University’s Student Michigan Education Association (SMEA) chapter received grants from the National Education Association and the Michigan Education Association to rejuvenate a Family Medicine Center and add a Reach Out and Read program at the clinic.

The Family Medicine Center (FMC), located on Dequindre Road in Sterling Heights, Michigan, was selected as a Reach Out and Read participant because it was a local Reach Out and Read participant. The Oakland University SMEA chapter believes it is important to make a difference close to home.

The Reach Out and Read program was a natural fit for SMEA and the FMC. All SMEA members are studying to be teachers, and the Reach Out and Read program encourages literacy in early childhood. SMEA President Sarah Bruha says, “This project is a way to give back to other members of our community, and most importantly, our future students. We are so excited to get books in the hands of children and courage them to read and succeed.” The Michigan Reach Out and Read chapter “promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.”

SMEA received $1,000 from a Community Learning through America’s Schools (CLASS) grant from the National Education Association. The Michigan Education Association matched this grant, providing a total of $2,000 for Oakland University pre-service teachers to paint murals of characters from children’s literature, purchase comfortable chairs and tables for the children’s corners of the FMC waiting room, and books to stock the Family Medicine Center’s shelves.

SMEA volunteers will clean and paint the walls, build the shelving, and add books on March 31, 2012. On April 21st, SMEA will hold a community open house to showcase the renovated center, featuring read alouds, crafts and activities for children in and around the community. If you would like to attend, please contact skbruha@oakland.edu.

If you are interested in donating gently used books to the Family Medicine Center for children in grades one through six or supporting SMEA’s efforts in adopting the Family Medicine Center, please email skbruha@oakland.edu .

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