Busy corporate executives are putting down their Wall Street Journals and reaching for such literary fare as "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and "Winnie the Pooh" as part of a program in Bridgeport, Conn., that is trying to inspire children to read more and watch television less. Among the dozens who signed up for Read Aloud Day, in which adult volunteers spend 30 minutes each reading to students from kindergarten through fourth grade, was Robert Fiscus, executive vice president and chief financial officer of United Illuminating Co. "Good morning, boys and girls. I have read this story and it's really interesting," the visibly nervous Fiscus announced as he dove into his reading assignment. Many of the executives and community leaders have found their new tasks as intimidating as a corporate board room appearance, and signed up for training sessions to prepare them for their youthful audiences. But they see a long-range payoff. "I think reading is the most important skill a person can have and there's a lack of good communication skills in the workplace now," Fiscus said.
--One school's gamble is paying off big as cerebral palsy victim Michael Ingenito, 27, graduates third in his class from Pace University Law School in New York. Ingenito, of Greenburgh, N.Y., had been turned down by several schools before winning over Pace administrators in a personal interview. Although unable to write and suffering from a speech impediment, Ingenito, with the help of his mother and a friend who taped lectures, had graduated from Long Island University with a 3.94 grade average before tackling law school.