Archive for Tuesday, October 20, 1998

KU FOOTBALL COACH TERRY ALLEN TAKES TIME OUT TO READ.

October 20, 1998

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He started off with a rousing ``Little Bunny Foo Foo'' and ended with a promise to return singing the Rock-Chalk chant and ``Dinosaur Stomp.''

It's a bit of a different arena for Kansas University football coach Terry Allen, but he proved Monday that he's as at home in a preschool classroom as on a 50-yard line.

``First of all I want to say how much fun it is to be here,'' Allen told a group of preschoolers at the Lawrence Early Childhood Special Services classrooms in the Dole Center at KU. ``Books are so cool. You should always take time to read books. You'll do it for the rest of your life.''

Allen chose ``Who's In the Shed?'' as the story of the day but also sang ``Three Little Monkeys'' and recited numbers with students.

``It's great to be with young people,'' he said. ``It's important for us as a football program to be part of the community.''

Allen said he gets lots of practice with elementary reading. He reads nightly to his daughter Angie, a 3-year-old.

The Lawrence Early Childhood Special Services classrooms are part of the Lawrence public schools system and are designed to help students ages 3 to 5 who have special needs. The classes are changing and now include children without special needs. Eventually they will become a completely integrated program, said Janice Blair, early childhood special educator.

Having Allen come into the classroom gives students an idea that they are part of a larger community that includes KU as well as Lawrence, she said.

Blair gave Allen top marks as a reader.

``He was really good,'' she said. ``You could tell he's a dad.''

No word on what's on Allen's immediate reading list, but most likely it has something to do with dinosaurs.

``We're (he and Angie) really into that,'' he said. ``We read a lot of Barney books and number books. There's nothing better for young people than getting them involved with books.''

-- JL Watson's phone message number is 832-7145. Her e-mail address is jwatson@ljworld.com.

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