February 15, 2005

Open house marks launch of tutoring program

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony set for Thursday, Feb. 17, will celebrate the recent launch of an after-school tutoring program offered by Southern Illinois University Carbondale for students in the Cairo School District.

The festivities also will celebrate other programs operating in the Cairo Community Education Center, which is the former Cairo Junior High School. The open house is from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., with ribbon-cutting ceremonies at 2 p.m.

Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association, is among those expected to attend, according to John C. Davis, director of Saluki Kids Academy. The Regional Office of Education for Alexander, Johnson, Massac, Pulaski and Union counties is sponsoring the open house. Cairo Superintendent Samuel Harbin will emcee the ceremonies.


Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to cover open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony, and interview Saluki Kids' Academy Director John C. Davis about the project. To reach the Cairo Community Education Center: Take Interstate 57 south to the Cairo exit. Turn left onto Illinois 3 and follow the highway (it turns into U.S. 51) into Cairo. Turn right onto 27th Street and go four blocks to the school. For more information contact John C. Davis at 618/453-6464 or Dan Anderson, regional superintendent of schools for Alexander, Johnson, Massac, Pulaski and Union counties, at 618/634-2292.


Saluki Kids Academy is an outreach program founded three years ago by the College of Education and Human Services. The goal is to spark an interest in academics among students who have had difficulty working to potential.

Graduate students are working with 57 third- through-eighth-grade students in reading, literacy, and eventually math and science. The program offers one-on-one and group instruction.

"I think it is going great. We are happy with the participation we are getting and think the program will grow," Davis said. "We are pleased with the cooperation we are getting with the school district and the parents. We anticipate even greater participation in the summer and fall."

"We are thrilled that the Cairo community is embracing the idea of the community education center and stepping forward to provide the leadership needed to make it successful," Davis said.

Members of SIUC fraternities and sororities and other registered student organizations helped clean and refurbish the school last fall. The regional superintendent's office made classroom space available for the tutoring program.

The building houses seven other programs, including regional alternative education services, special education services, the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service, and the Cairo School District administrative offices.

The open house will include displays from several departments at SIUC, including geology and aviation.

Serving others and participating in community outreach programs is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

For more information on the program, contact Saluki Kids' Academy Director John C. Davis at 618/453-6468, or visit the academy's website at http://web.coehs.siu.edu/Units/SKA/.