Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Story Time Project nostalgic experience for students

wheeler-08fa-cm20081030-web01.jpgFor those who miss their younger siblings, or want to work with little kids, the Story Time Project helps foster those connections between kids and Whitman students. The Story Time Project is a way for Whitman students to get involved with the kids of Walla Walla by reading aloud to them a few times a week.

“At the beginning of each year, we match applicants up with local classrooms, daycares, and libraries. Each week, volunteers visit their respective locations to read to a group of children who range from 2-7 years old for 30 minutes,” said Souk Thongdymanyvong, who is the current Story Time Project intern.

One of the goals of the Story Time Project is to help children who may never be read to at home, or have easy access to books, in addition to allowing students to get involved with the Walla Walla community.

“We want to inspire children to have a positive attitude about reading,” said Thongdymanyvong. “I also think it’s very important for young children to be exposed to books — to different ideas, cultures, and experiences — and it’s unfortunate that not all children are read to.”

For volunteers, the Story Time Project allows them to help instill a love for reading in young children.

“When I was growing up, reading was important. My parents always read to me when I was little and it helped me become a reader for life. I want to pass on a love of reading to children because literacy is very important,” said freshman Kelsey Kennedy.

Any student can apply at the beginning of the semester, and spots will be open during second semester. The number of spots available in the community determines the number of accepted applicants. Though not every student’s schedule works out with the community partner’s schedule, this semester alone had 76 applicants as compared to 50 from last semester.

One of the places that readers go to is Kid’s Place, which is located just behind Reid Campus Center. The toddlers that are read to range from ages two to four.

“They have very short attention spans but I think they really appreciated someone new coming to read to them. It seems like it would be easy to read to a child, but in fact, it’s a bit harder because you have to make the story engaging and hold their attention,” said Kennedy.

For children who don’t get to hear bedtime stories read aloud or have little access to books, the Story Time Project is a great help for both students and children.

“Remember times when your mom or dad, or grandparents read a bed-time story to you? I just want other kids who don’t experience that at home, to get a similar experience at school,” said Thongdymanyvong.

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