1450 Herndon, Clovis, CA 93611-0599
(559) 327-9000; Fax (559) 327-9099
May, 26 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kelly Avants, Administrator, Communications & Board Relations
Phone: 559-327-9092 Fax: 559-327-9099
Classroom mystery inspires ill child to succeed in school
Imagine going through four open-heart surgeries before the end of kindergarten! That's just what one Freedom Elementary student has done, causing him to fall behind in his studies. Recently, an instructional aide in teacher Sandy Salcido's classroom noticed the boy's struggles and came up with an ingenious plan.
In her work with Evan Turk, 6, Cathy O’Neill discovered he loved to play spy games. To interest the child in learning his sight words and numbers, O’Neill created the mystery of the "Jersey Snatcher," the story of a secret agent on the hunt for a football-jersey-stealing bad guy.
RJ Bell, who is on the football team at Clovis East High School, got into the act as well, playing the role of a fellow spy. Bell began text messaging Evan weekly with encouraging notes to learn his sight words, numbers and other class work. Tomorrow, the mystery will come to an end as Evan solves the final puzzle, showing him where to uncover the jersey that has been hidden on the Freedom Elementary campus.
Members of the Clovis East football team will be on-hand May 27 to help uncover the "stolen" jersey, after which Evan will be presented with an original Clovis East jersey with his name on it. He will get to keep the jersey as a permanent reminder of when he solved the case of the Jersey Snatcher. Because of Evan’s involvement in this creative lesson, he is now on track to be promoted to first grade along with the rest of his classmates.
WHAT: Evan Turk, a kindergarten student at Freedom Elementary who is recovering from multiple heart and stomach surgeries, will work with football players from Clovis East to solve his own customized spy mystery- the case of the Jersey Snatcher.
WHEN: Thursday, May 27
WHERE: Freedom Elementary School
2955 Gettsyburg Ave.
Media covering the event can check in at the Freedom Elementary administrative offices prior to the start of the event. For more information, contact Kelly Avants, public information officer, at 327-9092.