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Updated 10:00 AM February 9, 2009

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Mystery readers engage children

Once upon a time, there was a university executive officer who enjoyed the company of students so much, it didn't even matter that they were too young to be in school. That's why Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper went up to the hills and forests of North Campus one morning to read to the children there.
Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper reads to children at the Child Development Center. (Photo courtesy Housing)

Within the University's Northwood Community for graduate and family housing, the Child Development Center (CDC) hosts a Mystery Reader program for its pre-school children. Parents and guests, including University staff, come in to read a variety of stories. For her visit as the Mystery Reader, Harper selected "Corduroy," written by Don Freeman about a stuffed bear (with a wardrobe malfunction) in search of a button and a friend.

With children representing as many as 65 different nationalities, the center places a strong emphasis on language and literacy. The Mystery Reader program was launched this past fall to bring some new faces and voices into story-time with the youngsters. Guest readers are given helpful tips on reading to the children and the books are selected from the CDC library.

"Reading aloud to children is the best way to support language development and instill a lifelong love of reading," says CDC Director Lynn Herman. "I think that when the children see visitors come in to read to them, they realize that reading is both enjoyable and important."

Faculty or staff who would like to be a Mystery Reader may contact Lynn Herman at 764-4557.

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