MALVERN, Pa., April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- While they may be young, they already know much more than their peers, especially about former First Lady Barbara Bush.
In a novel partnership between the Malvern School—a private pre-school with 20 locations in PA and NJ—and the First Lady's 1990's radio show called Mrs. Bush's Story Time, students listened to classic children's books read to them by Mrs. Bush. Then, they participated in day-long events at their schools with lesson plans designed around the books read, and what life is like for a First Lady. This was the first time the series was re-launched since it made its debut in the 1990's, and has become so popular that plans are underway to make it available free of charge to schools nationwide.
Today, the Malvern School presented the first annual Mrs. Bush's Story Time Contest Awards to students who used their creativity and imagination to complete projects based on the books they read and what they learned from Mrs. Bush. Of the hundreds of projects submitted, Malvern School officials chose three first place winners who received free tuition. Seven honorable mentions received six, signed books that were part of the Story Time original series. Two additional winners were chosen from essays that were received as part of a public contest on why reading is important.
"I am so proud of all the Malvern School students who took part in Mrs. Bush's Story Time, and want to congratulate them for all of their hard work," said Mrs. Bush. "There is nothing more fulfilling to me than seeing young children develop a love of reading aloud, which I believe is one of the most important factors in predicting success in school and life. I am so proud of all of them."
The Mrs. Bush's Story Time Awards presentation ceremony was held today at the Malvern School in Frazer, PA. Students showcased their winning projects, and were presented with their awards with a luncheon held in their honor following the event.
"This has been such a tremendous partnership between our schools and Mrs. Bush, and we just can't thank her enough for allowing us to re-launch this wonderful program," said Kristen M. Waterfield, president and COO of the Malvern School. "Linda Katz, who created the series, and heads up Children's Literacy Initiative, has also been so helpful, and together we are working to make the program available free of charge to elementary schools around the country," she added.
The first place winners include: Emily Swackhammer, 5, of Frazer, PA; Caroline and Eamon Smith, 4 and 2, respectively, of Washington Twp. NJ; and Jude Stulak, 2 1/2, of Lionville, PA. The honorable mentions include: Cole Steuer, 3, of Glen Mills, PA; Grady and Wyatt Cassidy, 2 1/2 and 4 months, respectively, of West Norriton, PA; Ben and Max Norton, 2 years, and 10 months, respectively, of Medford, NJ; Annabel Alisesky, 4, of Horsham, PA; Gavin Block, 4, of Richboro, PA; Sienna Ma, 3, of Montgomeryville, PA; and Kyra Olson, 1 1/2, of Voorhees, NJ. The two essay winners are Ella Harrison, 6, of West Chester, PA, and Amanda Nichter, of Philadelphia.
"Our students and teachers have absolutely benefited from this very unique educational opportunity, and we look forward to continuing it at the Malvern School and sharing what we've learned with schools that might benefit from our program and direct access to a former First Lady," said Diane Morgan, Malvern Schools' director of operations.
About The Malvern School: The Malvern School was founded in 1998 by Joseph A. Scandone and Kristen Waterfield. Scandone also founded the Goddard School. There are 20 Malvern private pre-schools in the tri-state area with 10 more planned over the next three years. The Malvern School is the premier early childhood education program in the region, having received the coveted National Association for the Education of Young Children, (NAEYC) accreditation for seven of its schools, signifying they have exceeded industry standards for early childhood education excellence. With more than 450 employees, and 2,000 students, The Malvern School's faculty is comprised of teachers who hold degrees only in early childhood education. In addition, the school adheres to a strict, "Quality Standards Program," which focuses on the health and safety of students, and incorporates custom-designed specialty rooms and state-of-the-art play areas in all of its schools. The Malvern School has received numerous industry awards for its academic programs, student success rates, and overall education innovation.
SOURCE Malvern School