Nicor Expands Reading Program

NAPERVILLE, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nicor is proud to herald the return of Super Reader and the Adventures in Reading with Nicor program. Adventures in Reading with Nicor will launch during National Book Month and this year Nicor will add Aurora’s Smith School to the program.

On Wednesday, October 15, Smith School’s K-3rd grade students will be visited by Nicor’s costumed super hero – Super Reader – who will kick-off the program at an assembly where he will personally encourage the students to become “super readers.” By participating in the Adventures in Reading with Nicor program, Smith School’s students will receive free age appropriate books and prizes while teachers and parents will benefit from free training sessions.

Adventures in Reading with Nicor is a unique reading program designed to foster a life-long love of reading among children through a four pronged approach:

  • Providing free books to students and their parents
  • Presenting professional development training for teachers
  • Offering special coaching sessions for parents
  • Contributing motivational prizes and activities

Adventures in Reading with Nicor launched in 2006 and has resulted in the distribution of more than 5,000 books to approximately 1,700 Illinois students. By the end of the program’s second year, participating students had read more than 76,000 books!

“There is joy to be seen in the eyes of a student whose horizon has been broadened by the experience of reading. Aurora is proud to have a corporate partner like Nicor who goes into a school in our community to provide additional encouragement and incentives to get our children reading even more,” said Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner.

Beyond the free books, development training, and motivational prizes, students become ecstatic to see and meet Super Reader, a Nicor created super hero character that has traveled light years for the sole purpose of encouraging students to read.

Super Reader returns to Earth during National Book Month to visit three schools, Cicero West Elementary in Cicero, Zenon J. Sykuta School in Country Club Hills, and newly added Smith School in Aurora. During his visits Super Reader will help kick off the school events by sharing his story of how he became a "super reader" and he will help Nicor volunteers distribute free books and prizes to students. Prior to his appearance there will be a life-sized cutout of Super Reader available at the schools, so the students who complete a reading score card can place their faces in the cutout and pose for pictures as Super Reader’s apprentice.

“When Super Reader arrives at the participating schools the students treat him like a rock star. His ability to motivate and encourage the students to get fired-up about reading cannot be understated," said Claudia Colalillo, Senior Vice President Human Resources and Corporate Philanthropy.

To implement the Adventures in Reading with Nicor program, Nicor has partnered with three schools in its service territory to support local Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) programs. The largest non-profit literacy group in the United States, RIF has been developing and implementing programs to help encourage children to read since 1966.

Each of the schools participating in the Adventures in Reading with Nicor program will host three book distributions per school year. At each distribution, students will have the opportunity to select a book of their choice. Prior to Super Reader arriving at the schools for the initial book distribution, the students are presented with a reading score card, that gets them started on the program. Once students have read a book, they review it by filling out the score card and submitting the completed score cards for a chance to win a prize at the book distributions.

For information on Reading Is Fundamental, visit www.rif.org.

Nicor Inc. (NYSE: GAS) is a holding company and is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Its primary business is Nicor Gas, one of the nation’s largest natural gas distribution companies.Nicor owns Tropical Shipping, a containerized shipping business serving the Caribbean region and the Bahamas. In addition, the company owns and has an equity interest in several energy-related businesses. For more information, visit the Nicor Web site at www.nicor.com.