Hobart and William Smith Colleges have been named Community Partner of the Year by Geneva Reads, the community’s literacy coalition. The award will be presented at a reception that Geneva Public Library staff and the Geneva Reads board of directors are hosting jointly to honor their volunteers. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 17 in the Community Room.
The Colleges have been one of the organization’s many community partners since Geneva Reads was founded in 2007. Members of the HWS community have become involved in the dynamic project by contributing to a wide variety of the organization’s literacy efforts with one goal in mind: to raise the literacy level of Geneva.
“There’s no aspect of Geneva Reads that hasn’t been positively affected by having the Colleges as part of our community literacy coalition,” says Executive Director of Geneva Reads Anne Schuhle. “We have chosen Hobart and William Smith Colleges as Community Partner of the Year because its contributions to our efforts have been phenomenal.”
Schuhle cites several contributions from HWS community members as evidence of the Colleges’ commitment to Geneva Reads and its Community Reads series of events each March.
In addition to continuous volunteer efforts on the part of faculty and students alike, Hobart and William Smith have standing annual traditions to increase involvement in various ways. For instance, Mike Hanna ’68, director of Hobart Athletics, provides a crew of athletes each year to help with setup and takedown for Geneva Reads’ largest event, Book Fest, while other students staff several booths at the event. When Geneva Reads hosts authors for community lectures and interactions, HWS often provides accommodations for those individuals. The HWS College Store also supports the organization with a Books ‘n’ Brunch each March to support the annual Community Read conversation.
“Both HWS and Geneva 2020 have provided financial support for the Community Read and our Healthy Readers programs,” Schuhle remarks. “And students with the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning always work to keep our Community Bookshelves stocked.”
“We are proud to be a partner of Geneva Reads, which is committed to creating a lifelong culture of readers,” says Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning Katie Flowers. “It is truly a reciprocal relationship, as working with the organization has provided so many with a sense of empowerment, leadership, and service-learning. It is a privilege to be recognized for our partnership.”
The photo above features a group of Statesmen athletes who gathered for a photo after setting up Book Fest.