SUU Students Explore Community Reading Programs

Published: March 30, 2015 | Author: Brittany Cecil | Read Time: 2 minutes

Southern Utah University students lead local children on adventures to different worlds, worlds that will never to be forgotten. Organizing student assemblies at local elementary schools, SUU students are allowing children to learn more about far away worlds through books.

Two separate college student groups, SUU athletes and the English Honors Society, have reached out to the Cedar City community. Both visited local students at elementary schools and the public library to teach the importance of reading.

The athletes enjoyed visiting the different elementary schools to create a reading program, Thunderbooks, with the incentive of earning free tickets to a sporting event of their choice.

Kids are a treat for basketball-star Brenna Gates, studying secondary education. She said, “To kids that age we seem like LeBron, and to be there for kids like that I think it’s really important to be involved.”

Each student is challenged to set individual goals with their teacher, once the goal is met they may redeem their prize.

Local born athlete Kyler Nielson explained that seeing the same little kids in the school assemblies that he sees in the games is a lot of fun. He said, “A lot of kids in the community know SUU and look up to the student athletes, so it was good to help them out and have a little fun with them in their schools.

The SUU student athletes aren’t the only students making a novel impact on the area youth. SUU’s English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, began to recognize that to increase a child’s love for reading it needs to begin with them reading. With this in mind Sigma Tau Delta met with the local kids at the Cedar City Public Library to excite the children about reading. In order to go to the community instead of making the community come to them.

This year Sigma Tau Delta booked two weekends to take children involved in the program to new worlds through reading. The children were asked to bring their favorite book so they could read it to those who attended. In return the children were given a gift bag with a notebook, pencil, eraser and a new book to explore.

Sigma Tau Delta’s President Kenneth Ayers, majoring in English education, said of the event, “It was an experiment of sorts, we weren’t sure how it would turn out but we wanted to find out badly enough to do it anyway. And it turned out to be better than we hoped for.”

It was a big enough success that it will become an annual occurrence for the group.

The local elementary schools and the public library was the destination in mind when the SUU students initially made plans to begin the different reading programs. Each of the students involved hoped that each child who participated would soon embark on many journeys to magical worlds yet to be explored. 

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