‘School House Rock' musical director promotes literacy at Little Sprouts

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    Sussex County-Bob Dorough, former "School House Rock" musical director, read from "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein and "The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss during his visit Aug. 17 to the Little Sprouts Day Care Center and the Even Start Family Literacy Program as the August celebrity reader. Dorough began writing educational songs called "Multiplication Rock" in 1971. His songs were later tested by the Bank Street College of Education and found to be a viable tool for teaching children mathematics. These early songs paved the way for the "School House Rock" series of educational cartoons, for which Dorough served as musical director for thirteen years. "School House Rock" became a television hit in the mid-1970s, and returned to TV in the 1990s with songs about four subject areas: Grammar, American history, science and mathematics. "The children had a great time listening to Bob read; he was very enthusiastic and the children responded well to him," said Brenda Bode, Even Start Coordinator at Project Self-Sufficiency. Even Start is a New Jersey Department of Education-funded family literacy program offered by Project Self-Sufficiency in conjunction with Sussex County Community College and Hopatcong Borough Schools. Eligible families participate in six components: GED/ABE/ESL classes, parenting classes, computer skills training, early childhood education, parent and child interactive activities, and family field trips. Project Self-Sufficiency's Even Start program offers free transportation, child care, meals during classes, a weekly stipend for perfect attendance and the License to Drive program, which pays for driving instruction to help participants obtain their driver's license. The Celebrity Reader Series began in October 2002 as a way for local celebrities and community role models to share their love of reading with families and children participating in the Even Start Program or enrolled at Little Sprouts Day Care Center. Project Self-Sufficiency is a non-profit social service agency serving single parents, teen parents and displaced homemakers with a holistic menu of programming designed to enable families to achieve economic and emotional self-sufficiency. Services will include computer training, careering, job training and placement, legal assistance, individual and group counseling. To learn more about Project Self-Sufficiency's programs call (973) 383-5129.