News Release - June 14, 2000 


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First Lady Announces Innovative Reading Initiative for Young Children

CHICAGO -- First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan announced today that her Futures for Kids program will receive a $468,000 grant from the Corporation for National Service to create the Land of Lincoln Americorps program in six communities throughout Illinois.

Land of Lincoln Americorps is an expansion of the Americorps of Southern Illinois program currently operated by Rend Lake Community College as a collaborative effort among six southern Illinois higher education institutions who joined forces to serve over 2,000 youth in 14 communities.

Americorps Southern Illinois will continue to provide tutors and mentors to at-risk fifth through eighth graders who are at-risk of academic failure. Through this program expansion, eighty Land of Lincoln Americorps members will provide in-school academic support to supplement classroom learning, provide individual and small group tutoring, and mentor students in kindergarten through grade two.

First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan stated "The Land of Lincoln Americorps program is an example of what we are trying to accomplish with Futures for Kids." She added " we were made aware of a program that was showing positive results for children, had relevance to the outcomes of Futures for Kids and we expanded it to include more children and start earlier."

As the grant's administrative institution, Rend Lake College will receive approximately $468,000 in federal funds to administer the statewide program, which goes into effect August 1, 2000. The remaining funds for the program will come from the partnership colleges and Futures for Kids.

Futures for Kids focuses on creating the programs and resources necessary for children to grow up into healthy productive citizens. Futures for Kids was created by Mrs. Ryan to reduce youth drug use, delinquency and school drop out rates.

Illinois Colleges participating in the Land of Lincoln Americorps program.

  • Rend Lake College, Ina
  • Horace Mann School, Mt. Vernon
  • Benjamin Franklin School, Mt. Vernon
  • Summersville School, Mt. Vernon
  • John A. Logan College, Carterville
  • Herrin Middle School, Herrin
  • Washington School, Marion
  • Kaskaskia College, Centralia
  • St. Mary's Grade School, Carlyle
  • Carlyle Junior High School, Carlyle
  • Shawnee Commmunity College, Ullin
  • Centurly Elementary School, Grand Chain
  • Cypress Grade School, Cypress
  • Southeastern Illinois College, Harrisburg
  • Malan Junior High School, Harrisburg
  • East Side Elementary School, Harrisburg
  • Eldorado Middle School, Eldorado
  • Galatia Grade School, Galatia
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • Thomas School
  • Winkler School
  • Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg
    College has not yet finalized service site
  • Highland Community College, Freeport
  • Taylor Park Elementary School, Freeport
  • Danville Area Community College, Danville
  • Meade Park Elementary School, Danville
  • Malcolm X College, Chicago
    College had not yet finalized service site
  • Parkland College, Champaign
    College has not yet finalized service site
  • East St. Louis Community College Center, East St. Louis
    College has not yet finalized service site
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