Way before Wikipedia: Gift predates Revolutionary War
David Connor HON ’90 recently donated a copy of the Samuel Johnson A Dictionary of the English Language to Special Collections in the Cullom-Davis Library. Published on April 15, 1755, in an edition of 2,000 copies, it is estimated that slightly more than half survive. The volume features classic words and sayings of the 18th century such as “to aberuncate is to pull up by the roots,” and “to blood-let is to bleed.” The dictionary includes the definitions of more than 40,000 words, and took more than eight years to complete.
Last year, Connor (shown at right with Charles Frey) donated an 1828 first edition of Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language to Bradley’s Cullom-Davis Library. “If Johnson defined the English language in terms of British heritage and culture, Webster attempted to do the same for American English,” said Frey, who oversees Special Collections. “Both lexicographers were defining national identities as much as words.”
No Excuses teaches kids about BU
For students in Sandy Reichel’s fifth grade class at Anne Fox Elementary School in Hanover Park, Fridays come as a welcome break for more reasons than bringing the weekend. They bring red days, when students dress in red and white to support and study their adopted university, Bradley.
The elementary school has initiated a No Excuses University program, designed to battle high poverty rates and low academic achievement. The program exposes children to colleges and helps them learn the steps they must take to get there. It was started in 2004 in San Diego, when two principals conducted college preparedness research. Anne Fox Elementary was the third school in the nation to adopt the program. Nineteen universities are represented at the school near Chicago, including the University of Illinois and Northern Illinois University.
Katie Volini ’99, a reading recovery teacher at Anne Fox Elementary, contacted Dr. Joan Sattler, dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences, asking about the possibility of Bradley donating merchandise to Reichel’s classroom. The University gladly obliged, sending Bradley bookmarks, folders, pencils, blankets, towels, stickers, and magnets. Sattler comments, “We know that to influence kids about thinking about going to college, we need to reach them in elementary school.” Not long afterwards, Bradley received thank you notes from the fifth graders. “You should have seen our class when we found out that you sent us all the gifts. We were crazy,” wrote one group of students. “We’re using everything very wisely,” assured another. Bradley’s ties to the school are also strong through Amanda Smith ’04, another teacher at the school, and Reichel’s daughter Amy Reichel ’10, who plays on the University volleyball team.
The school is taking several steps to encourage students to think realistically about college. On Mondays, students wear shirts with their college graduation year printed on them. Kindergartners boast 2023, while Reichel’s class sports 2018. The kids have also been doing research on Bradley; they regularly visit the Web site and explore the benefits Bradley has to offer through program information and virtual tours of the campus.
The program allows students to explore and decide upon a vocation early so they can prepare in high school. They can navigate financial aid possibilities, and plan other financial strategies.
Results of the program at Anne Fox Elementary show the school, once the lowest achieving in its 21-school district, is now 10th. Behavior problems have also reduced drastically, while interest in learning and further education have increased.
Visit noexcusesu.com for more information.
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