College volunteers hosted local elementary students for Literacy Day
Note: event took place March 7
By Stephen Wilson
“Without diversity, life would be very boring.”
The end of a quote by inspirational author Catherine Pulsifer strikes at the heart of the theme for 2020 Literacy Day, an event that grouped Lafayette volunteers with local elementary students for a day of books, crafts, food, fun, and togetherness.
Participants donned a T-shirt emblazoned with Pulsifer’s full quote.
“The theme for this year is multiculturalism, focusing on celebrating different cultures and the uniqueness of individuals,” says Brooke Paccione ’21, team leader for America Reads, one of the programs from Landis Center for Community Engagement that organized the event.
The team also includes Adam Finkelstein ’20, Gam Pham ’22, Cristian Romero ’20, Mackenzie Calvert ’20, and Danielle Bellefueille ’20.
But they didn’t do it alone. Forty-nine College volunteers hosted and partnered with 35 students from Paxinosa and Cheston Elementary Schools.
The day was action-packed, starting with an animated reading from Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. of the chosen book The Day You Begin. The mayor savored his time with the task as he interjected jokes, thoughts, advice, and opinions with each turn of the page.
He reminded children of their promise to read four million minutes as a school district in March. He too made a promise but thinks what they will read will be more fun than his city documents.
Following the reading, students and their College partners moved to various stations: coloring paper lanterns with Asian Cultural Association, decorating dreidels with Pi Phi sorority, building collages with Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, coloring a calavera mask with Refugee Action, selecting books from the book fair with America Reads, and learning to dance with Salsa Club.
Add to it a kid-focused lunch with demonstrations by Precision Step Team and Salsa Club along with a music performance from acoustic duo Calvin and Rindra.
The day is an extension of the work the America Reads team does all semester.
The federally funded America Reads program allows federal work-study students to partner with Easton children on topics relating to literacy. The Lafayette program employs approximately 65 tutors and encompasses seven programs at six sites throughout the community. Programs are coordinated by student leaders and are overseen by America Reads coordinator Christine Cohen.