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UGA cheerleaders root for reading during visit to Interactive Neighborhood for Kids

POSTED: March 16, 2008 5:01 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Marie Matthews, 4, left, and Madeline Gruhn, 5, right, join University of Georgia cheerleader Jennifer Tucker for a photo Wednesday afternoon at INK as a selection of UGA cheerleaders visited to kick off Literacy Month with cheers and autographs.

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Interactive Neighborhood for Kids Inc. kicked off Literacy Month on Wednesday with a visit from three University of Georgia cheerleaders.

Megan Gay of Marietta, Jennifer Tucker of Statesboro and Sarah Kyle of Warner Robins were there to sign autographs, pose for photos, paint faces and teach children cheers. Chrissy Derrer, INK curator, said the cheerleaders are required to complete five hours of community service per semester.

INK, located at 999 Chestnut St., is a nonprofit organization in Gainesville that gives children an opportunity to explore real occupations within the community.

Elisa Matthews of Gainesville, a longtime INK member, said that the museum for children offers a comforting environment, and children love it. Though she has previously served as a board member, she is now a volunteer mom and said she brings her children at least once a month. Matthews said that her twin children, Marie and Henry Matthews, 4, enjoy visiting INK and "would live there if they could."

Maggie Martin also visits INK once a month with her friends. Martin said the best part about Wednesday’s event was seeing the cheerleaders because she "looks up to the cheerleaders."

An INK member and longtime Georgia fan, Holly Norman, 11, of Gainesville visited INK on Wednesday especially to see the cheerleaders.

"It’s cool to see them up close," Norman said.

She said she goes every Saturday to see Georgia games, and plans to marry former Georgia quarterback David Greene should he ever become single.

INK also has events planned throughout March to encourage children to enhance their reading abilities. The next events to celebrate Literacy Month include a family reading celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. March 13 and a "Seussical the Musical" performance from 5 to 7 p.m. March 21.

Call INK at 770-536-1900 or visit www.inkfun.org for more information about events.



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