MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Penn State Harrisburg community members are helping to instill a love of reading in children and celebrate diversity through participation in Reading 365, an initiative of the Harrisburg-based American Literacy Corporation.
The college’s Diversity and Educational Equity Committee (DEEC) re-launched its support of Reading 365 this fall. Through the initiative, college community members are encouraged to sign up to virtually read a diversity-themed book to elementary school-aged children, who watch over the American Literacy Corporation’s Facebook page.
“Reading is essential in all aspects of life. Participating in Reading 365 allowed me to promote children’s literacy while helping advance knowledge and understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging during their formative years,” said Wanda Knight, assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Knight, who read the book “The Day You Begin,” by Jacqueline Woodson, over Zoom from the Mukund S. Kulkarni Theatre in November, is among several campus leaders who helped kick off the program. Other participants have included: Mark Kiselica, director of the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education; Evan Williams, assistant director for student diversity, equity and inclusion; Bill Weik, chair of the college’s Board of Advisers and supporter of the college, and Melissa Weik, supporter of the college; Jim and Ronda Stump, Penn State Harrisburg alumni; J. Brian Adams, president of the Faculty Senate; and Tim Schock, chair of the DEEC.
“The Diversity and Educational Equity Committee continues to facilitate Penn State Harrisburg’s participation in this wonderful initiative and is proud of the continued support from Penn State Harrisburg’s leadership and community,” Schock said.
The DEEC continues to recruit members of the community to read and has a collection of diversity-themed books that campus participants can borrow if needed. Time slots are scheduled from 11-11:30 a.m. each day. The readings are done over Zoom and streamed to Facebook Live.
Anyone interested in participating can sign up online. The form asks participants if they need to borrow a book to read. Books should be suitable for children in kindergarten to second grade and take about 15 minutes to read.
Kiselica, who recently participated by reading “A Fly Went By,” by Michael McClintock, said, “I have the highest degree of respect and appreciation for the American Literacy Corporation and its effort to promote children’s literacy through its Reading 365 Initiative. It was great fun to read a book and share my ideas about how to engender a love of reading.”
Past readings can be viewed on the American Literacy Corporation’s Facebook page.