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Recognition Ceremony to Highlight Students' Success

For more information contact:
Syl Morgan-Smith (303) 275-3001
e:mail: Public Affairs

Golden, Colo., June 2, 1998 — A recognition ceremony June 3 featuring special guest Vinny Castilla of the Colorado Rockies will commemorate the success of a pilot tutor program involving about 200 students in 17 Denver Public Schools. The Coalition for Learning Opportunities and United Tutors (CLOUT) paired volunteers with fourth graders who needed help with reading.

Rockies third baseman Vinny Castilla will participate in the ceremony as part of the team's commitment to literacy. Students will receive a certificate of achievement, a book signed by their tutor and an application for a library card for the Denver Public Library.

Volunteers from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden Field Office and Denver Regional Support Office joined volunteers recruited by the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver and Servicios de la Raza to work one-on-one with students in an effort to help them read better.

"We are very pleased with the progress our youngsters have made," said Frank Stewart, CLOUT volunteer and manager of the Golden Field Office. "This year's increase in reading scores for Denver students is something the entire city can be proud of." NREL sponsored CLOUT to augment Denver Public Schools' reading program. Midwest Research Institute, which manages and operates NREL for the Department of Energy, provided $90,000 last fall to get the program started.

"In addition to improving the students' reading skills, working with CLOUT volunteers every week provided these kids a foundation for greater self esteem and will ultimately improve their chances for success in life," said Syl Morgan-Smith, director of corporate public relations for MRI of Colorado. CLOUT was formed in response to a call at the National Volunteerism Summit from President Clinton and Gen. Colin Powell for government agencies, businesses, civic organizations and citizens to get involved in the lives of children.

The ceremony will be Wednesday, June 3 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the auditorium of Cheltenham Elementary School, 1580 Julian St. (near Federal Boulevard and West Colfax Avenue).


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