“It was a rewarding experience because I was able to be a mentor and someone that these kids could look up to. It was also a memorable experience because it allowed me to understand the significance of literacy in early childhood,” said Katy Catanzarite, an SSU student in Dr. Hobson’s class after reflecting on her experience at Book Buddies.
The service-learning project partners Dr. Hobson’s PSY 302 Lifespan Development students with 2nd and 3rd grade Meadow View Elementary School students. The focus of this service-learning project is to expose the children from a very young age to college students as well as the campus while encouraging reading and literacy with books and activities. The SSU students not only get to provide much needed service, but also their classroom lessons come alive as they get to see how children of this age group behave. They then compare what they’ve observed to their classroom and textbook learning.
Related: Book Buddies V
“I want to go into a community engagement type of work now, as a result of this class and this experience,” said Michelle Calnan, a Teaching Assistant (TA) who has participated in the event as a service-learner and now is helping to run it for others. “Being a student is a lot different than being the TA for it,” said Calnan. “I think that the students who come early get more out of it because they have more time to bond and interact. It’s fun and a learning experience.”
“Organizing it, makes me feel good to help the students because I got a lot from this experience when I did it.” said Calnan.
“It is so exciting to see 2nd graders involved in writing and sharing stories,” said Laurie Cameron, the storyteller. “This will definitely contribute to their literacy skills and their empathetic understanding of the world. I so appreciate having the opportunity to share my love of storytelling and to see that schools, teachers and prospective teachers are committed to this kind of project.”
This was one of my favorite parts because it was so fun to see the children’s faces light up as they sang and laughed. I also enjoyed watching the kids to pick their favorite books to read, which would help them for their next activity of writing their very own book. Watching them get creative and ask questions on how to spell words was not only adorable but amazing to watch.