To commemorate the 25th anniversary of literacy promotion at HWS, 83 students involved in the Colleges’ America Reads program, two faculty members, one staff member and President Mark D. Gearan participated in Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record Campaign” to support child literacy . The campaign, which began in 2006, aims to promote child literacy nationwide through shared reading between adults and children.
“We participate in the event every year,” says Jeremy Wattles, assistant director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL), “But this year was special.”
He explained that on Oct. 2 and 3 with special guests like President Gearan, Professor of Education Charlie Temple, Associate Professor of Psychology Julie Kingery, and CCESL director Katie Flowers this year’s event emphasized HWS’ role in supporting child literacy.
“Campaigns like Read for America are important,” says Wattles. “They emphasize that literacy is, and must continue to be enjoyable and crucial for each young person’s quality of life.”
HWS’ role in promoting literacy began 25 years ago, in 1988, when Professor Temple met with fellow HWS colleagues to create what today is known as the Federal Work Study Program on campus.
“America Reads has offered our students an opportunity to engage with the community for an entire semester, as well as get to know and mentor young children,” says Wattles.
Jessica Ramistella ’14, an education major and former America Reads tutor agrees. “America Reads” has been great,” she says, “As college students, its really nice to meet the community you live with.”
This year’s event, featuring author Loren Long’s book “Otis,” a story about a courageous red tractor and his unlikely relationship with a young calf, aimed to break the record of 1.2 million children reading at once.
These efforts are held as part of the Geneva 2020 initiative launched between the Geneva School District and HWS.
In the photo above Professor Charlie Temple talks with children at West Street Elementary School. Temple participated in Read for the Record as well as played his guitar for the students.