On Tuesday morning, September 27, 2016, UNCP students and the Office for Community and Civic Engagement hosted 80 second graders from R.B. Dean Elementary School in Maxton for its annual Fall Reading Party. Approximately 70 UNCP freshmen helped facilitate the event as part of the service-learning component of their freshmen composition courses led by instructors Deana Johnson and Amy Williams.
Visiting second graders spent the morning in the University Annex Center reading their favorite Dr. Seuss books, making related crafts, and writing their own stories as they rotated in small groups through six literacy stations each led by UNCP students. Activities included Dr. Seuss Reading circles; a Cat in the Hat Face craft; a Red Fish, Blue Fish, One Fish, Two Fish hands craft; Truffula tree craft; a Cat in the Hat Toss; Letters to Horton (Who Hears You); and Make Your Own Story. The morning culminated with a lunch of pizza slices, assorted snacks, and cold lemonade, made possible by generous donations from Domino’s Pizza of Pembroke, a longtime community partner with UNCP.
The annual fall reading party has become a UNCP service-learning tradition over the last several years. One of the key areas of need identified in our community is the low literacy rate. By intervening early with elementary age students, UNCP students hope to foster literacy in our community by introducing them to our university campus and, most of all, making reading FUN for everyone.