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Kiwanis contributes $5,000 to UNCP’s Literacy Commons

June 6, 2014

Literacy Commons

The Kiwanis Club of Robeson-Lumberton donated $5,000 to UNCP Literacy Commons, a multi-dimensional literacy outreach. Pictured from left: Cammie Hunt, associate vice chancellor for engaged outreach, English professors Scott Hicks and David Marquard of the Literacy Commons and Kiwanis officers Merle Summers, Mary Winfree and Kyle Chavis.

An outreach program for literacy in Robeson County and a civic club with a mission for youth got together on June 11 on the campus of UNC Pembroke.

Mary Winfree, president of Kiwanis of Robeson-Lumberton, delivered a check for $5,000 to UNCP’s Literacy Commons, a campus-wide consortium to advance literacy. Many of their programs stem from service-learning classes where teaching and learning springs from classroom to community.

“As a civic club, the Kiwanis Club seeks to address the needs of our children,” Winfree said. “We’re excited to see UNCP students going out to elementary schools and being role models. We’re also very excited about your writing project because literacy is an area of special concern in our community.”

One of the Literacy Commons projects in 2013-14 was to publish a literary journal of writing and art by Robeson County high school students. In April, the first edition of “The River” was unveiled by students of UNCP’s Esther Maynor Honors College, who planned and edited it.

On June 10, the second edition of “The Voice” was released at Oxendine Elementary School. “There were 120 happy children who were very excited to see their work in print,” according to Dr. Scott Hicks, whose literature class edited the project.

Literacy Commons director David Marquard said the group is a partnership of many people on campus. Other initiatives include community podcasts, a veterans writing group, adult literacy classes and a mentorship program with UNCP student-athletes. Marquard thanked the Kiwanis Club.

“This really helps,” Dr. Marquard said. “It enables us to enhance our outreach to the local schools.”  

Kiwanis members took a tour of the Literacy Commons headquarters in Wellons Hall and received several of its publications.

For information about the Literacy Commons, please contact them at (910) 775-4775.