Persuading a teenager to get up early on a Monday during summer break can take some coaxing.
For the Community Youth Development SRQ Volunteens there was motivation to spend their morning out of bed on Monday, June 27. Students spent the morning reading to children ages 2 to 5 at the Forty Carrots Family Center.
The time was part of an overall summer project to better understand literacy with activities including reading and collaborating on a book to promote diversity called “Everyone is special!”
The students also held a book drive that helped collect more then 40 children's books to be added to the library at Forty Carrots.
Some students like 5-year-old Sofia Driscoll couldn't put the books down. She partnered with SRQ Volunteen Sawyer Pollard who read book after book to Driscoll.
“I like their responses to the book,” Pollard said. “They’re excited, confused and happy.”
Just as soon as they completed a book, Driscoll would pull another from the bookshelf. At one point she volunteered to read to Pollard and proceed to sound out the words in “Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, too?”
“They can learn about books and learn to like them at a young age,” Pollard said.
The philosophy at Forty Carrots Family Center is that literacy starts at birth according to Preschool Director Flora Oynick. After observing the SRQ Volunteens reading with students Oynick plans to have them visit again but instead for the entire day.
“They came eager to show what they know,” Oynick said. “The students are learning how to build relationships through reading and learning how to relate to other generations.”