MUNSTER – The Northwest Indiana McDonald’s Owners/Operators (NIMO) and South Shore Arts announced that their literacy program partnership will continue in 2017. Centered around Michael Tyler’s book The Skin You Live In, this partnership plays a vital role in teaching Northwest Indiana students how to read, and at the same time, appreciate the diversity that makes each of us special as individuals. In 2016, NIMO and South Shore Arts celebrated reaching a total of 10,000 students through their Skin You Live In program partnership.
For the past six years NIMO has been a sponsor of South Shore Arts’ The Skin You Live In youth literacy program. Presented to students in elementary schools throughout Northwest Indiana, this program teaches second graders reading comprehension as well as acceptance. With illustrations done by Hammond artist David Csicsko, the book promotes both the importance of reading and shares a critical message of diversity. The arts-based literacy program was created to teach second-grade students the values of friendship, social acceptance and diversity.
After the students have been introduced to the book, an instructor from South Shore Arts visits their classroom and leads a special art project that combines the lessons of the story with hands-on participation. Students create their own face using multicultural paper and other art materials, allowing them to celebrate their own individuality and the joy of friendship.
“It is imperative, now more than ever, that young people hear and understand the messages shared in Michael Tyler’s Skin You Live In book,” said Rod Lubeznik, NIMO Board president and Northwest Indiana McDonald’s owner/operator. “After reaching our 10,000th student milestone in 2016, NIMO operators are honored to bring the messages of acceptance, diversity and understanding, as well as the joy of reading, to students across our region.”
Every year, South Shore Arts honors special patrons who have helped make the arts available to the people of Northwest Indiana. For their efforts as part of the Skin You Live In program, NIMO was selected as the 2016 Patron of the Year Award presented at the annual Beaux Arts Ball fundraiser.
“We are very proud of our partnership with NIMO and the work that we have done and are continuing to do together in the community,” said Tricia Hernandez Director of Marketing and Development for South Shore Arts. “It’s an important program and message that is delivered through art and literacy.”