Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Athena Program Kicks Off With Fiction, Food & Fun

The Athena Interactive Literacy Program, Reader to Reader’s week-long workshop, kicked off with a series of writing and cooking classes.

This special program works with pregnant and parenting teens in order to build their reading and writing skills, and to explore healthy eating and cooking. The young mothers in the program currently attend The Care Center in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where they are working on getting their G.E.D.s so they can attend college.

(Pictured Above) Chef Bill Collins teaches basic cooking skills and how to create quick and economical meals that are nutritionally balanced.

The program strongly emphasizes family literacy and art teacher Julie Zuchman (Pictured below) gave a wonderful class in board book making so that the young mothers can share a handmade book with their children.

The program brings together an exciting team of educators, writers, and artists that includes award-winning author Norton Juster (The Phantom Toll Booth) and author and literacy advocate Jim Trelease (The Read-Aloud Handbook).

The students spend their mornings exploring reading and writing in a variety of interesting settings, including recording poetry at a professional recording studio. They spend their afternoons with Chef Collins learning to cook healthy food for themselves and their children.

The Athena Interactive Literacy Program is sponsored in part by Peoples Bank. A special thank you to Chef Bill Collins ( and Julie Zuchman for the generous donation of their time and energy.

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