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Senator Lieberman Visits Magnet School
Lieberman said the $225 million literacy program constitutes a very small part of the federal budget. “It’s foolish economy to cut this out of the budget,” he told the students. “I am a great advocate for the program and promise to keep Even Start money coming from Washington.”
The 15-year-old program was developed to provide literacy opportunities for families by integrating early childhood, adult, and parenting education into a unified literacy program for disadvantaged families. Parents can attain their GEDs or learn English as a second language, while helping their children develop early literacy and school readiness skills. It is one of 150 federal programs to be trimmed or eliminated under Bush’s budget plan to control the federal deficit.
Terri Delahanty, coordinator of Greater Hartford Even Start, said this program is one of nine in Connecticut, and has been located at the University of Hartford Magnet School for the past three years. Greater Hartford Even Start, she said, serves about 15 Hartford families.
Lieberman visited some of those students at the University of Hartford Magnet School to hear what they had to say about the program. He was accompanied by University of Hartford Magnet School Principal Cheryl Kloczko; University of Hartford Provost Donna Randall; John Carson, the university’s senior advisor for corporate and community relations; Joe Townsely, director of Magnet Schools for the Capital Region Education Council; and Delahanty.
Silvia Noriega, a native of Peru, can now speak English, read newspapers, and even speak to her daughter’s preschool teacher about her progress. She attributes her success to the Even Start program at the University of Hartford Magnet School that she has been attending for more than a year. Even Start, she said, is helping her and her daughter become good citizens.
“America is about opportunity,” said Lieberman. “Through Even Start, you can take advantage of opportunity. This is what America is about and this is what this program is about.”