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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2000

GOVERNOR VISITS WILLIAMSON COUNTY SCHOOL

HERRIN - Governor George H. Ryan today visited Herrin Community Unit School District 4 in Williamson County to highlight Illinois FIRST's school construction program. Illinos FIRST is providing $9 million to help the school district construct a new high school and expand its kindergarten center.

"Our children cannot be expected to reach their full potential if they are crowded into cramped classrooms or forced to learn in school buildings that are falling apart," Ryan said. "Our partnership with the Herrin school district and school districts throughout the state is helping provide better schools and modern learning environments for our children."

Ryan first announced the Herrin grants in July of last year. The Illinois FIRST funds will be combined with nearly $5 million in local funding to provide new learning space for more than 1000 Herrin students.

While in Herrin, Ryan toured the elementary school and attended a student assembly. The governor reminded the students of the importance of a good education and encouraged them to always do their best.

When both Illinois FIRST school construction projects are complete, Herrin Community Unit School District will be able to offer all of its 2,175 students a chance to learn in modern teaching facilities.

"Illinois FIRST is an investment in the future of Illinois and in the future of our children," Ryan added. "With these new dollars, we are able to respond to local needs."



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