The Best of Our Knowledge
12:45 pm
Mon September 7, 2009

The Best of Our Knowledge # 990

Albany, NY – MORE DOLLARS SENDING MILITARY VETERANS BACK TO COLLEGE

PRESIDENT OBAMA LAUNCHES EXPANDED EDUCATION BENEFITS
IN REVAMPED GI BILL -

All we heard about in the news last month was Cash for Clunkers. You did not hear headlines screaming Cash for College. So that's why we're telling you about it right here and right now.

The largest educational benefits payments in the 65-year history of the GI Bill have finally started to flow from the U.S. Treasury Department. They're going to more than 100-thousand veterans.

TBOOK actually began reporting this story on our programs more than a year ago. The expanded GI Bill was passed by Congress last year, and signed into law by then President, George W. Bush. It pays for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to attend in-state public colleges at no cost to them. They can also apply the funds toward the cost of an out-of-state or private college.

At the time this show was produced, more than 130-thousand veterans had already applied for these new benefits. And Veterans Affairs officials say they anticipate more than 250-thousand veterans to use the new tuition and living stipend to attend school over the next three years.

VA Secretary, Eric Shinseki, urges those using the money to "make it count for your country." Shinseki acknowledged that VA officials rushed to meet the August deadline for starting benefits, and will face challenges in coming months to keep the program running smoothly, as more veterans apply to colleges.

In this report, President Obama thanks the veterans for their service, and provides TBOOK listeners with more details of the rollout.

Glenn Busby reports. (6:10)

**(Attention listeners. For complete details on how to apply for these educational benefits, veterans are advised at the conclusion of the above segment to go online to: www.gibill.va.gov.)**

"WHAT TO READ WHEN: THE BOOKS AND STORIES TO READ WITH
YOUR CHILD - - AND ALL THE BEST TIMES TO READ THEM"
Pt. 2 - TURNING CHILDREN INTO LIFELONG READERS -

U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, spent several days last month before school started on what he termed Read to the Top! He partnered with community organizations nationwide for his reading initiative to try and curb summer reading losses. During one event, the Secretary was joined by White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, who read aloud "Duck for President." Duncan read "Library King" and also "I Am America." Various elementary school classes were invited to share in the reading aloud experience.

This fits right in with a story we began last week when we spoke with Pam Allyn about the state of literacy in this country. You can still hear that show, number 989, online and podcast at: http://www.wamc.org/prog-tbook.html

This week, Allyn has lots of suggestions for how parents can turn their children into lifelong readers, how to select books, and how to use public libraries.

Pam Allyn is the Executive Director of LitLife, a national organization specializing in innovative literacy education programs for schools and families. Pam is founding Director of LitWorld, which brings the power of stories to the world's most vulnerable children. She also launched and leads the renowned literacy initiative for foster care children, Books for Boys. And she is the recipient of two James Patterson PageTurner Awards for excellence in bringing literacy to underserved populations.

Glenn Busby reports. (12:00)

**(Attention listeners. Pam Allyn is the author of "What To Read When", published by Avery, a member of the Penguin Group. More online at www.whattoreadwhen.com

Allyn is also Founder and Executive Director of LitLife, a national organization specializing in innovative literacy education programs for schools and families. Their website is: www.litlifeinfo.com.)**

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