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LSU Eunice Honored for Book Buddy Program

EUNICE, LA - LSU Eunice has been named to the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

"LSU Eunice is pleased to once again be recognized by the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its exemplary and effective Bengal Book Buddy program," said LSU Eunice Chancellor William Nunez. "The President's Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to community service."

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. On campuses across the country, thousands of students joined their faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using the skills gained in their classrooms. Business students served as consultants to budget-strapped nonprofits and businesses, law students volunteered at legal clinics, and dozens of others organized anti-hunger campaigns.

"Congratulations to LSU Eunice and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities," said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "Our nation's students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service."

LSU Eunice was honored for its work with early reading intervention through the campus' Book Buddy project. Faculty, staff, and students participate in the project by being partnered with a pre-kindergarten through third grade student in the community's local grammar schools and spend 30 minutes a week in one-on-one reading sessions with the children. The program encourages children to develop their reading skills and to recognize the importance of reading in their lives.

"I am particularly proud of the fact that this year, of the 78 students, faculty and staff who serve as book buddies for Pre-K to third grade students in Eunice elementary schools, 70 are Bengal athletes," said Nunez.

The Honor Roll includes six colleges and universities that are recognized as Presidential Awardees, with an additional 115 named to the Distinction List and 621 schools named as Honor Roll members. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

"Our athletes get to experience what it is like to give back and help youngsters who look up to them," said LSU Eunice Athletic Director Jeff Willis. "The program is not only valuable for the elementary student who is getting needed help with their reading skills, but also for our student athletes who get to see firsthand what is truly important in life - our younger generations which are our future here in Louisiana."

LSU Eunice's Book Buddy Program is in its 13th year of providing service to the Eunice area elementary schools.