Environmental education was the theme for Literacy Day, an annual event organized by Lafayette student leaders from Landis Center for Community Engagement
By Gracie Hatch ’25
Landis Center for Community Engagement recently hosted its annual Literacy Day activities, which included an environmental education panel and an engaging kids’ event at Paxinosa Elementary School.
Literacy Day is an outgrowth of America Reads, a year-round program that matches Lafayette student tutors with local elementary school students in Easton. Kaelyn Gormley ’22, director of America Reads, worked alongside Madeline Squarcia ’22, assistant director of America Reads, Avery Besch ’23, Danielle Long ’23, Christine Cohen, America Reads coordinator, and Mary Foulk, administrative assistant of the Landis Center, to bring the events together.
The first event featured an expert panel that discussed the topic of “sustainability discourse in United States education systems.” Held March 30 in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, the panel discussion included: Arthur Kney, professor of civil and environmental engineering and faculty director of the Landis Center for Community Engagement, Rachel Hogan-Carr, executive director of the Nurture Nature Center, Tara Gilligan, assistant professor of woman, gender, and sexuality studies, and Miranda Wilcha ’16, community gardens and compost coordinator of the Greater Easton Development Partnership.
For the second event, Lafayette students visited Paxinosa Elementary School in Easton to engage children from the local community in a variety of activities to promote reading and environmental education. This year’s Literacy Day was especially exciting to both the Lafayette and Paxinosa students, as it was able to be held in person after a year of virtual programming. “It has always been a really fun day for the kids, and even our volunteers get excited about it,” says Gormley.
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.