Globe University-Wausau marked Community Service Day on May 17, 2013. Each year our campus closes its doors so that our staff and faculty have an opportunity to get out into the community and make a difference.
This year, we joined area classrooms and read to elementary children in PK-2nd grades. We were able to visit classrooms at Rib Mountain Elementary, Saint Mary’s Elementary, Trinity Elementary, Stratford Elementary and Marathon Elementary. It was a lot of fun to see the excitement in the children’s eyes as they listened to the stories about the pig that wanted pancakes and the many dinosaur adventure books.
Colossal Fossils, a nonprofit organization, was most generous in allowing us to present a few of their pieces from their collection, which included different fossils, a T-Rex tooth, and a dinosaur egg. The kids were so intrigued about them and in dinosaurs in general.
Stephanie Daniels, full-time instructor, noted, “Colossal Fossils’ purpose is to introduce kids to the wonders of natural history in a fun way. It was a perfect opportunity to collaborate with a local university, and show off some real fossils to young children.”
The staff and faculty from Globe University-Wausau had a great time too: Myra Bahan, adjunct instructor, stated, “We had such a great time. Little faces looking up at you waiting for the next line and a peek at the picture. Nothing is more rewarding then sharing a story with children.”
Deb Heeg, accounting program chair, added, “I enjoyed every minute spent with the kids. It gave me a chance to reminisce back to when I would read to my children when they were younger. It never fails that a story book in hand automatically demands the attention of a child.”
We know that it is very important to instill the love of reading in our children. Children who spend time reading are better at writing, develop a more extensive vocabulary and excel in their academics. Today’s technology seems to be consuming much of our children’s time and therefore leaves little time for them to actually sit down to read a book. Some statistics today regarding our children’s ability to read are most troubling. Scholastic’s website (PDF) noted that 2/3 of all eighth graders are not proficient in reading and only about 31% of all college students are actually highly proficient in reading.
We each have an obligation to impart the love of reading to the children in our lives. Younger children already enjoy reading, but we need to fuel this excitement as they get older. Did you know that most public libraries have reading programs where children are encouraged to read so many books and then receive prizes? It is never too late to enjoy reading, even as an adult. Take the reading challenge and consider taking your children to your local library to find some great books that you all can enjoy. Remember that if your children see you reading or to them, they too will see its importance and will most likely become active readers too.
By Karen Salzwedel and Deborah Heeg, Globe University-Wausau