June 6, 2007

School celebrates literacy achievements

Students at Will C. Wood Middle School have a number of reasons to celebrate Friday, June 8 during the annual Community Literacy Celebration Show and Dinner.

The school will observe a partnership with Sacramento State that provides tutoring services and professional assistance, and one of the middle school’s students will be recognized for reading more than 7 million words.

The second annual Community Literacy Celebration Show and Dinner kicks off at 5:30 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria. There will be free food, music and a book giveaway. “It’s a community celebration for literacy,” says school Principal Jim Wong.

Sacramento State plays a major role in that effort. The middle school, along with Hiram Johnson High School and Nicholas Elementary School, have had a partnership with Sacramento State for four years through the University’s Ethnic Studies Department.

The University has 150 students involved in the project which teaches ethnic studies in the classes, operates an extensive tutoring program, and also brings students in seventh through 12th grades to the Sacramento State campus so they can learn what it takes to get into college, says ethnic studies professor Gregory Mark. Events such as this help celebrate the work the schools and the University do together, says Mark.

Friday’s spotlight will be on eighth-grader Nhi Vo, who read 7 million words this school year, enough books to stack seven feet high, says Wong.

Vo came to America with her father and four sisters in 2002 to be treated for burns she and two other sisters suffered in a house fire that also claimed their mother’s life. The girls have gone through many operations and face many more. “She’s a top notch student – an American success story,” says Wong.

Officials expect 400 people for Friday’s celebration as students, their family, friends and community leaders gather to recognize their achievements.

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs Office at (916) 278-6156.