Citibank awards $5,000 to Fairfield University's Family Literacy Project


Citibank in Connecticut, through the Citigroup Foundation, has awarded $5,000 to support Fairfield University's Adrienne Kirby Family Literacy Project. This project, a collaborative effort between the university and Bridgeport's oldest and largest community action agency, Action for Bridgeport Community Development (ABCD), is an intergenerational intervention program aimed at improving school readiness and literacy in low-income preschool children in Bridgeport.

Now in its eighth year, the project provides preschool children with the intellectual tools they need for learning and strengthens the parental/caregiver involvement that is so critical to their success. The preschoolers receive individual tutoring while their parents/caregivers attend literacy workshops designed to increase their confidence as first teachers and their involvement in their children's education.

"We are pleased to support Fairfield University and Action for Bridgeport Community Development in this fine endeavor, which enables us to strengthen our commitment to helping educate the next generation," said Ellen Tower, Citibank vice president and director of community relations in Connecticut. "Through this literacy building project, we know that our local children and their families will be able to sharpen their skills and expand the range of future opportunities available to them."

Judith Primavera, Ph.D., a Fairfield University professor of psychology, directs the program and trains university student-volunteers to provide individual tutoring to preschool children to increase their language and school readiness skills, thereby preparing them for the challenges of learning.

In 2001, Dr. Primavera won an Honorable Mention in the national Ernest A. Lynton Award for Faculty Professional Service and Academic Outreach. She was among 35 candidates out of 700 selected to attend a special conference on the Scholarship of Civic Engagement at the Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wis. In addition, the Adrienne Kirby Family Literacy Project was the subject of a feature story in the Boston Globe on September 10, 2000.

Citibank, a member of Citigroup, (NYSE:C), is the preeminent global financial services company which provides some 120 million consumers, corporations, governments and institutions in more than 100 countries with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup's trademark red umbrella are Citibank, Travelers, Salomon Smith Barney, CitiFinancial and Primerica. The Citigroup Foundation primarily focuses its grant making in three areas: financial education, educating the next generation, and building communities and entrepreneurs. Additional information may be found at http://www.citigroup.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 15, 2001

Vol. 34, No. 22