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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Members of St. Bonaventure University’s Xi Nu chapter of Kappa Delta Pi received recognition for a literacy program they developed for the Olean Child Daycare Center.

KDP is the international honors society in education with the mission of honoring the achievements of educators while promoting excellence in education. Through Literacy Alive!, KDP chapters from across the country are asked to create a literacy-focused community service program that could be submitted to a board for review.

For their program, 16 members of Xi Nu developed a two-pronged plan to help replace the books, movies and toys that had been destroyed by a flood at the OCDC and to combat early childhood literacy issues.

In the fall, KDP members held a book, CD and DVD drive on campus. Additionally, members sold tote bags to generate money for the center. KDP co-presidents Amy Jones, ’12, and Elizabeth Moran, ’12, presented OCDC with a check for $100, which was used to buy each child at the daycare center a book for Christmas.

For the second component, Xi Nu members held a literacy instruction workshop at OCDC in March. The children bounced between five stations, each having a different book and corresponding learning activity designed for pre-kindergarten children.

In its first ever submission to Literacy Alive!, Xi Nu earned the Premier Achievement Award, as well as a check for $300.

KDP advise Betsy Cashing said that the students who participated were, “absolutely awesome.”

“They worked so hard on this project, and it was so well organized,” Cashing said. “The ideas were all theirs. I just got to sit back and make sure that they had what they needed to get done what they wanted to do. They were amazing.”

The projects were graded against a rubric that considered factors such as specific goals and projected outcomes, personal interaction with the community, creativity and impact.

The award came as a shock to both Jones and Moran.

“I was really surprised when I found out we won the award,” Jones said. “I was also really pleased because when we set out to do this, it was really just to help out OCDC, which we were able to do. The award was like an added bonus.”

“None of this would have been possible without the help of the entire KDP leadership team, and Mrs. Cashing,” Moran added.

Jones said participating in Literacy Alive! helped her give back to the community while doing something she loves.

“There is nothing more rewarding than when a student is struggling and you’re able to help them understand it.”

Cashing said Xi Nu has until Nov. 30 to decide whether it will submit another program to Literacy Alive! A planning team is considering developing a program that connects literacy with science and math. If a project is developed, Xi Nu will use the $300 from last year to get the program off the ground.

Cashing said programs like Literacy Alive! coincide perfectly with the ideal teachers value the most - service.

“The community needs to know that teachers look beyond the four walls of a classroom,” Cashing said.

Pictured, SBU students Emily Call (left) and Sara Kosakowski work with children at the Olean Child Daycare Center.
St. Bonaventure photo

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