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Indiana University Northwest

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IU Northwest promotes literacy with childrens’ book giveaway Dec. 3

Gary residents can get free books with proof of residence


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Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing and Communications

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Urban Teacher Education Program

In an effort to promote child literacy, The Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP) at Indiana University Northwest is giving away thousands of children’s books to parents and local groups in Gary.

The group has planned a book giveaway, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3 in the Moraine Student Center, located on the southeast end of campus.

Gary residents may come and select a limited number of books at no charge. 

“All educational success flows from literacy,” said UTEP Executive Director Rochelle Brock, Ph.D. “Encouraging a love of reading is the best thing you can do to help a child be successful in school and life.” 

Brock acquired a massive collection of children’s books that appeal to anyone from toddler age to pre-teens.  The collection contains classics from decades past, as well as popular recent books.

For several months, Brock’s students have distributed the books to day-care centers, schools, churches, and social service agencies that help children.  The project leader, Jasmine Thornton, would like to give the remainder of the books directly to parents by opening the doors of their storage facility for one day. 

“This project has been a rewarding experience,” Thornton said.  “Reading as a child gave me a life-long love of learning.  I like to think these books will do the same for a new generation.”

UTEP trains graduate students to become certified teachers who specialize in meeting the needs of urban students.  UTEP was created in 1990 in collaboration with the cities of Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago to help provide them with highly prepared individuals who can take on the educational challenges created by economically struggling communities.  Students in the program receive more hands-on experience than usual, and spend time exploring the complex issues of poverty, critical thinking and social justice. 

For more information, contact Jasmine Thornton at