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Say Yes to Education, National Grid Foundation honor Delaware Academy, Seymour Dual Language Academy, John T. Roberts School

April 21, 2011

Susan Dutch
(315) 443-1525

Student authors to be recognized at book-signing event

Author! Author! Thirty-three of Syracuse’s newly published young authors will be treated like celebrities at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in DeWitt, N.Y., on Wednesday, April 27, at 4:30 pm. The student authors represent three Syracuse City Schools—Delaware Academy, Seymour Dual Language Academy and John T. Roberts School—and will be honored for their work as part of the Say Yes to Education Young Authors Series, supported by the National Grid Foundation.

sayyes“Peace” is a compilation of fables that chronicles the literary adventures of 12 third grade Syracuse public school children at Delaware Academy who, through cooperation, teamwork and friendship, discover a unified meaning to the lessons they embrace and honor in their Delaware Academy Dolphin Pledge. Students of the Seymour Dual Language Academy tell the story of “Jordan’s Westside Adventures” as seen through the eyes of a furry, brown squirrel that explores the Westside in search of his lost sister. Students of the John T. Roberts School depict and explain common fears held by students and their peers in “Kid Fears,” the book they wrote based on information they obtained through interviews combined with their own personal experiences about their chosen fear.

ngEach book was illustrated by Syracuse University illustration students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and published through a generous grant from the National Grid Foundation. The books will be sold for $10 by Barnes & Noble Booksellers in DeWitt. Proceeds from total purchases made during the day of the event will go to the Say Yes to Education scholarship fund.

Syracuse City Mayor Stephanie A. Miner, National Grid Foundation President Bob Keller and Say Yes Executive Director Rachael Gazdick will honor the students for their work. In addition, several SU illustration students will be recognized during the event as part of the team of students that brought the stories to life. Their professor, James Ransome, assistant professor of art, design, and transmedia in VPA, will also be recognized.

“The Say Yes book project was a wonderful opportunity for the students from Delaware Academy, Seymour Dual Language Academy, John T. Roberts School and Syracuse University to merge their talents together to create three works of art,” says Ransome. “The final books are a treasure they should have for life.”

“The Say Yes to Education Young Authors Series book project is a creative way to engage children, while developing their reading and writing skills,” says Miner. “The National Grid Foundation’s commitment to Say Yes and its mission represents the wide-reaching community support that is critical to ensuring all of Syracuse’s children have the necessary skills to succeed.”

“This book project is a wonderful collaboration that shows the true value in everyone working together. The curiosity and imagination shown by our students while creating this book is amazing,” says Daniel Lowengard, Syracuse City School District Superintendent. “The experience of publishing a book is one that our students will never forget.”

National Grid Foundation’s Keller expressed that his organization elected to support the project for the long-term value it brings to the students and the entire community. “At the National Grid Foundation, we believe that education begins during the early years of child development,” says Keller. “We are delighted to support Say Yes to Education, an organization that helps shape tomorrow’s leaders by igniting in them a spirit of inquiry and critical thinking.”

“At Say Yes to Education, we believe every child is gifted and talented. The book project is a way to spark a child’s intellectual curiosity, develop a thirst for literature and enhance their creative writing skills. How many of us can say we wrote a book and had it published when we were in third grade?” says Gazdick.

Those who are unable to attend the event but would like to support the endeavor are encouraged to visit http://bn.com/bookfairs; go online from April 27-May 2 and support Say Yes to Education and the Young Authors Series by entering Bookfair ID 10465193 at checkout.

Say Yes to Education is a national, nonprofit foundation committed to increasing high school and college graduation rates for urban youth. Say Yes combines an early incentive of college education with high-quality and sustained academic, social, emotional, health and family supports throughout the K-12 years, including after-school and summer camp programs, tutoring, mentoring, family outreach and engagement, and referrals for high-quality health care and legal assistance. The program culminates with the promise of free tuition for all SCSD graduates who meet residency, graduation and admission requirements into one of nearly 100 higher education institutions.

The National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life in areas where National Grid provides services. The foundation’s ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its objective is based on the principle that giving people the tools to build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of individuals, families and communities. Since its inception in December 1998, the foundation has provided more than $15 million in grants to hundreds of organizations.

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