Hood ’12 Leads America Reads Effort – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Hood ’12 Leads America Reads Effort

Most college students spend a lot of time reading books. Most of those books, however, don’t have very many pictures and rarely include titles such as “Llama, Llama Red Pajama. In order to read books in that category HWS students have to participate in America Reads.

This fall, HWS America Reads program participated in the nationwide “Read for the Record” campaign sponsored by Jumpstart. “Read for the Record” is an annual event oriented towards raising awareness about the importance of reading to kids. Each year a single book is chosen to be read in libraries, schools, afterschool programs, and homes around the country in an attempt to break the world record for number of children being read to at the same time.

This year that book was “Llama, llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney and past books include classics such as “The Little Engine that Could, “The Story of Ferdinand,Corduroy” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” During the 2010 campaign more than two million children were read to making it the largest shared reading experience in history.

At HWS, more than 90 students are involved in America Reads programs at seven different locations throughout Geneva. Hannah Hood ’12 is the 2011-12 Civic Leader for Literacy through the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning as well as the site coordinator at West Street Elementary School. As such, Hood was responsible for coordinating the events surrounding the Read for the Record campaign at HWS.

At each site, Hood worked with a group of HWS students to create a whole day of events related to “Llama llama Red Pajama” including creating pictures of what they thought Llama Llama (the young llama around whom the story is centered) dreamed about once he finally settled down to sleep.

“The experience allowed the students to really think about the story, ask questions, and apply it to their own life,” Hood said. “Many of the students had never read the story, but had read others in the series which helped them think about how Llama Llama would think.”

On campus, Hood is majoring in comparative literature, and working on a minor in education and English. She is in the Teacher Certification program for Elementary and Special Education, and plans to enter the MAT program next year. Hood is president of Campus Activities Board, on the board for Relay for Life, and a co-coordinator for Neighbors’ Night at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.  She studied abroad in Carmarthen, Wales and while there researched various education systems and teaching models.  As a part of her post as the Civic Leader for Literacy, she also oversees the community bookselves for Geneva Reads.

America Reads is a program coordinated by the Office for Community Engagement and Service Learning which is located on the 2nd floor of Trinity Hall. Students interested in participating in the program during the spring semester should stop by for more information.

In the photo above, Hannah Hood ’12 reads “Llama, Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney to students at West Street Elementary School as part of Jumpstart’s National Read for the Record campaign, which seeks to break the world record for the number of books read to a child in a single day.