Amherst-based Reader to Reader takes literacy efforts online with help of Five College students
Special to The Republican By
on March 25, 2015
AMHERST - Boguslaw Janiszewski, a second-year student at Hampshire College studying English literature, creative writing and philosophy, has never met any of the public school students he mentors in reading: It's done online.
"But I know first hand that, by exciting these individuals and by reading with them what they want to read - freely - the students we work with are able to offer themselves fully to a book or piece of text and truly digest the material, whether emotional or semantic," he says.
Janiszewski is a mentor in the Reader to Reader program.
"It's really interesting because by just pointing out certain aspects or perspectives in a text, these kids really do just exhibit their love for books and a premature possibility of studying in the field of academia by really asking and answering some hard-ball, mind-bending questions," he added.
Housed in the Cadigan Center for Religious Life on the campus of Amherst College, Reader to Reader involved in 2014 more than 135 Pioneer Valley college students in mentoring more than 1,000 mostly middle-school students in its Read, Think, Share literacy mentoring program that engaged public schools in the region as well as a school on a Navajo Reservation in New Mexico.
Read, Think, Share is an innovative literacy program that engages college students who read the same book with a middle-school student and share an online conversation about the book through daily blogs between mentor and student. The mentoring program aims to increase a love for reading among students and to increase their reading proficiency and their emotional investment in attending school.
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