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March 19, 2004

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March, 2004 | Supporting Education | Southern California

Assemblymember Cindy Montanez Presents “Exceptional Educator” Award to Pacoima Teacher


Assemblymember Cindy Montanez presents the Lottery’s “Exceptional Educator” Award to Shellie Blisten from Pacoima.SACRAMENTO – “The Big Spin®” show airs this Saturday, March 20, 2004 and features Assemblymember Cindy Montanez who will present the Lottery’s “Exceptional Educator” Award to Shellie Blisten from Pacoima.  A veteran teacher of 25 years, she is best known for her commitment to students at Montague Charter Academy in Pacoima.  Through her leadership, a large number of Montague’s students have qualified as gifted and high achieving learners.

In 1994, Blisten established a before school literacy program called “doing words.”  Through this program, parents receive training on how to develop their child’s language skills.  By empowering parents, her students become empowered learners.  The program has been so successful it has grown to a full-blown reading center, which now offers learning sessions before and after school.  The center provides specialized one-on-one instruction and strategies for parents to reinforce reading at home.

With help from local businesses like McDonalds, Blisten sponsors the center’s annual “Family Literacy Night.”  Students get a free hot dog dinner and a book to take home.  To date, over half of million books have been given away to Montague’s students.

The California Lottery’s distinguished “Exceptional Educator” Award has been presented on “The Big Spin®” television show since April of 2001.  The Lottery enlists various legislators to present these awards which recognize the outstanding teachers whose extraordinary efforts help California students to succeed.

In 2003 the California Lottery contributed $1 billion to public schools, for the third consecutive year.

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