Stacy Jones, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, leads a T&T class for freshman students, and every year each T&T class does a service project of their choosing. Four years ago, Jones signed her class up to go to St. Joseph Catholic School and read children’s books to a second-grade class.
St. Joseph is close to the university which helps with students’ time constraints with other classes. The school has turned out to be a great choice since everyone there enjoys having the university students and wants them to come back every year.
Jones recalls a few years back when her son was in first grade, he expressed his enjoyment when older students came and read to his class, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Jones to have her T&T class read to young students for their service project.
The second-graders from St. Joseph “are excited and ready to read when we get to their classroom,” said Jones. Pat Dittemore, the teacher of the second-grade class, said the interaction of her students with the Newman students was the most they had been engaged all day.
The Newman students greatly enjoy the experience as well, and Jones said every year “the students comment on how this is one of the best experiences of T&T.” Having college students interact and show grade-schoolers the joy of books has proven to be a great way to get a younger generation interested and involved with reading.