Read With Me, Belmont University’s Family Literacy Day event aimed at encouraging reading by children from pre-kindergarten through grade 6, was another big success for the five-year-old event, says organizer Tim Stewart, Coordinator of Community Service at Belmont. The event is one of many components of the Belmont Volunteers for Literacy program, along with ongoing tutoring programs at Carter-Lawrence School, Sevier Park Community Center and English tutoring with children and adults through the YMCA Hispanic Achievers program. It brings together several campus organizations such as the Black Student Alliance, the foreign language majors, the Student Athlete Council and numerous fraternities and sororities.
“I’m just now compiling the statistics, but it looks like we had around 150 kids and probably about that many parents, grandparents or teachers,” Stewart said. “I had 100 volunteers on my sign-in sheets and I know for a fact that probably a dozen or more folks didn’t sign in, so including them and several dozen folks who helped before the event, but couldn’t actually be there for it, I’m sure we had at least 130 volunteers,” said Stewart.
“Because of the generosity of Book’em and some books we had left over from previous years, we were able to give each child 2 or 3 books, so I would estimate that we gave out about 400 books.”
The other stats are impressive as well: “We consumed 25 pizzas, 15 gallons of water and orange drink, five huge bags of popcorn, 25 apples, 50 banana halves, 50 hot dogs – they arrived kind of late – and more cotton candy than I could count!” Stewart said.
At least 17 campus groups participated including the French, German, Spanish and Italian Clubs, Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Phi Mu, Alpha Sigma Tau, and Delta Sigma Theta sororities, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Volleyball and Track, Nursing, Belmont Catholic Community, Black Student Association, Student Government Association, the Library, and Student Teacher Education Association (STEA).
Service-learning via community outreach is a major component of a Belmont education.
Stewart says he hasn’t totaled the number of hours volunteers donated to the event, but it will be more than 300.
Family Literacy Day was April 16 on the campus of Belmont University.
Photos by Belmont University staff photographer Michael Krouskop. Click images to enlarge.