By Stephen Wilson

When Cade and his family are surprised by an anonymous stranger paying for their ice cream, Cade begins a journey to learn about random acts of kindness and how to pay things forward.

Cade’s story in the book Kindness Counts by Bryan Smith was read to kick off 2021 Literacy Day, an annual event organized by Lafayette student leaders from the Landis Center for Community Engagement.

The virtual event hosted a handful of students from two Easton elementary schools, Paxinosa and Cheston. Those students spent a few hours on a Saturday to listen to books and soak in the attention of many college clubs including Alpha Phi Omega, the Society of Women Engineers, Lafayette Happiness Project, and America Reads tutors.

Each club ran a short activity around the theme of kindness.

“We believe now more than ever that acts of kindness are needed to bring our community together,” says Gam Pham ’22, who helped lead the event. “Lots of people are or have been experiencing various struggles, so we thought that inspiring kids to participate in random acts of kindness wherever they can might help uplift people’s spirits.”

To help spur that spirit of kindness, Lafayette students delivered an activity bag to each student participant prior to the start of the event. In that bag was a copy of the Kindness Counts book, two other books gathered from a recent Lafayette Book Drive, a pencil case with various school supplies, activity papers (bingo board, coloring sheet) for the event, a T-shirt, and a book coupon to a local children’s bookstore, Book and Puppet Co. 

The team coordinating the day included: Alyssa Megson ’21, Madeline Squarcia ’22, Kaelyn Gormley ’22, and also Chris Cohen, America Reads coordinator. 

The event also included performance videos from the salsa team, dance team, and guitarist Sasha Neefe ’21.

It was a wholesome two hours spent with kids in our community,” says Pham. “It allowed us to more closely interact with Easton kids and inspire them to continue pursuing their education and improving their literacy.”

That work isn’t done yet.

The students recorded the event and are sharing the video and leftover activity bags to the Easton Boys and Girls Club so they can “run” the event for the kids involved in their after-school programs.

Another example of paying it forward.

Learn More

Landis Center for Community Engagement

The Landis Center for Community Engagement serves as the primary resource for community-based learning and research activities at Lafayette College by facilitating partnerships between the campus and Easton communities

Categorized in: Community, Featured News, Landis Center, News and Features, Students