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Niagara University president reads children's story to literacy camp participants

by jmaloni

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Mon, Jul 27th 2015 04:00 pm
The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., reads children a story as part of Niagara University's Primary Enhancement Program.
The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., reads children a story as part of Niagara University's Primary Enhancement Program.

One of the students participating in Niagara University's Primary Enhancement Program raised her hand and, when called upon, asked Monday's special guest, "What's your favorite color?"

Before a response could be given, the student interjected, "Can I guess? I bet it's black!"

It was an amusing question (and presumed answer) posed to NU's president, the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., shortly after the ordained Catholic priest read the Niagara Falls City School District students the children's book "I Can! Can You?" by Carol Adorjan.

Maher annually participates in the camp, which this year brings 36 K-2 students from Harry F. Abate, Hyde Park and Niagara Street elementary schools to NU. He placed a special emphasis on letting the young people know they're blessed, as evidenced by their opportunity to participate in the camp and especially because of the many family members, friends and teachers who care for them.

The Primary Enhancement Program is a collaborative effort between NU's College of Education and the Niagara Falls City School District. The two-week summer program, now in its seventh year, enlists graduate students from the College of Education to work with campers from 9 a.m. to noon daily to enhance literacy skills. Participants also take weekly "field trips" to places such as the on-campus post office and Castellani Art Museum.

The camp is coordinated by Dr. Mary Ellen Bardsley, chair of NU's Early Childhood and Childhood Education Department, and Dr. Kathleen McGrath, assistant professor of education and director of the university's Family Literacy Center.

For more information on Niagara University's College of Education, visit www.niagara.edu/education.

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