On October 12, more than 80 third graders from Rex-Rennert Elementary School came to UNC Pembroke to celebrate literacy at the annual “Make a Difference Day Reading Party.”
More than 50 student, faculty and staff volunteers assisted the students in reading “Where the Wild Things Are,” designing their own masks and puppets and creating their own stories.
The event was coordinated by UNCP’s Office for Community and Civic Engagement (CCE) and student service leader Michelle Winfrey. Many of the student volunteers were members of Deana Johnson’s classes. “Events such as these are wonderful opportunities to expose our students, faculty and staff to the needs in our area,” said Christie Poteet, CCE associate director. “Literacy is an area in which our community continuously struggles.
“It is our responsibility as a leading learning institution in this area to help address this need,” Poteet continued.
“Bringing these young students to our campus exposes them to a group of young people who are excited about their education,” she said. “It is an opportunity to inspire our young kids and create real change in our community.”
A long-term goal of the program is that the student, faculty and staff volunteers will stay involved in this ongoing struggle of trying to promote literacy in our community as we continue to build relationships with our local elementary schools and merchants, Poteet said, noting that Domino’s and Wal-Mart in Pembroke contributed to the program.