10th Annual Cardinal Connection Set for 1 p.m. Wednesday in Montagne Center
April 10, 2007
BEAUMONT - Way to go First Graders, our efforts are paying off! The Texas Education Agency recognized Beaumont Independent School District (BISD) for its dramatic improvement in student performance district wide in early literacy.
In accordance with the Texas Reading Initiative, Lamar University will host all first-grade students from BISD, representing 70 classrooms and about 1,300 children, as part of ExxonMobil's Cardinal Connection at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Montagne Center.
A joint effort by Lamar University, BISD and ExxonMobil, the purpose of Cardinal Connection is to promote the importance of learning and to assist with the development of necessary reading skills. The program will encourage BISD first graders to get excited about reading. The reading initiative is composed of three components: "Read to me" (shared reading), "Read with me" (guided reading) and "I can read by myself" (independent reading).
"Lamar University is proud to continue its education partnership with ExxonMobil and BISD," said Brad McGowan assistant director of development. "This is our 10th year of the Cardinal Connection program, and it demonstrates one of the many ways Lamar University is building strength through community. We believe this important initiative continues to be a successful endeavor."
The program will feature Lamar student-athletes illustrating how being successful in reading, like athletics, requires hard work and practice, but can also be fun. Lamar student-athletes will continue to appear at BISD elementary schools in the ongoing Cardinal Connection program.
"Reading is the foundation for all learning," said Kathleen Jackson, ExxonMobil Beaumont public affairs manager and a member of the Governor's Focus on Reading Task Force. "By connecting Lamar student-athletes with first grade students, children at an early age are motivated to work hard so they all can become reading champions."
Contributions from ExxonMobil to Lamar University exceed $250,000 for fiscal year 2006-07, university officials said. The contributions support a broad spectrum of university programs, said Janice Trammell, director of development. Lamar is one of 103 universities that ExxonMobil recruits from.
"My role is to set the goal, but it's up to the local people to say, how can I mobilize the resources necessary to achieve the goal?" said President George W. Bush. "This is exactly what has happened with Cardinal Connection. If some of these athletes are able to help young children get excited about reading and actually learn to read, then we've taken another broad step toward reaching our goal to ensure that all Texas boys and girls are successful readers."