Mercyhurst’s Alpha Beta Pi chapter of the education sorority, Kappa Delta Pi, organized the 7th annual Literacy Alive event, which reached 300 underprivileged pre-K students at seven different schools between April 13 and April 16.
The experience helped the future teachers teach young students the importance reading.
Kathleen Bukowski, Ph.D., Dean of the Hafenmaier School of Education & Behavioral Sciences, said that this event was not just for the children, but for students as well. She said that she believed mixing their major with community outreach would help give students the full Mercyhurst experience.
“It connects to the Mercy Mission. I’m always thinking that, being an employee of this university, it is not just about getting the skills. It’s also about helping you grow to be a better individual. We could have done this anywhere but there was a real purpose for selecting the children that we worked with because we knew they needed this,” Bukowski said.
Mercyhurst students planned the event’s activities by making lesson plans, which included reading stories and acting the stories out with the younger students.
“The lessons we did this year were reader’s theater using fables. So we read the children a fable, then they made masks of the characters, and then we read it again but they acted it out as we read. It was a big hit,” sophomore Elizabeth Meier said.
The Literacy Alive Committee lead by Ian Gayford and Sam Gudat, included Katherine Brittner, Taylor Redner, Nicole Kelly, Libby Clark and Rachel Costlow. Overall, Brittner has said that she believes the event was a huge success.
“The students were very excited to see the box of books when we walked into the room. They were even more excited when I told them that they got to keep the books. It was great to see how enthusiastic the students were about receiving the books They couldn’t believe that they were theirs to keep,” Brittner, a junior, said.
The students also received a box of crayons too, and the students said the children were even appreciative of that.
Junior Kelsey Wilson explained the children could not believe the free presents.
“They were so thankful and in so much awe and it was so heartwarming. One student tried to return the box of crayons after the lesson was over and I told her she was allowed to take them home and she gave me a hug and said no way, These are mine? Thank you,” Wilson said.