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Hudson Valley Community College Educator to Speak About UNICEF Literacy Programs in Niger

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8071
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, April 25, 2003

In a country with only a 20 percent literacy rate, the written word can become a powerful tool. Dr. Rita Egan, chairperson of the Teacher Preparation Department at Hudson Valley Community College will speak about her recent visits to several UNICEF-sponsored literacy programs in the African nation of Niger, Monday, April 28, at 2 p.m. The talk will be held in Room 100 of Higbee Hall on the college campus.

Egan will show videotape she shot while visiting two literacy programs in rural Niger, a country that some consider the poorest in the world. Literacy among women is particularly low. Only about one in 10 women in Niger know how to read and write. In rural area, that ratio is one in 20 women. Literacy rates have doubled in the past 10 years, but still lag behind much of the developing world.

The program is being sponsored by the Early Childhood Club at Hudson Valley Community College.

Proceeds of Early Childhood Club food sales at the college's annual Springfest, which will take place May 1, will go to UNICEF Education Fund programs. For more information, call Egan at 629-7250.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.