As a high school student, I have been around books long enough to have developed a strong devotion to them. Books and reading have played a prominent role in who I am now and started to before I could even register the affect they were having on me. Knowing that I wanted to share that with others was the easiest part of this Service Learning Project. The workshops that I attended over the first half of the year gave me some idea of what the next year and a half would entail. It was impossible to be fully prepared to start a project about my love of reading through just workshops but they did help. Even with the workshops, the challenges of the starting a project became blatantly obvious to me when my groups and I started our to plan out our project.
Making the transition from a structured project which was planned out for me to having the freedom to articulate my own interests into a service project opened my eyes to the challenges of community service. Having to plan out and implement my own goals gave me a new sense of appreciation for my first two years of Service Learning. This was probably the largest challenge we faced as a group this year. In my group we are all extremely passionate about reading and spreading that fondness among younger generation who seem to have lost that same spark when it comes to reading. We were however unsure of the how to spread our message. Our panel was helpful in overcoming this roadblock by offering up countless possibilities for us to explore.
Once we figured out that the best way to go about spreading the love of reading was to have direct contact with children so that we could have some first hand experience. Our visit to Jim Thorpe Fundamental was the perfect way for us to do that. After talking to two fourth grade classes, I realized just how worthwhile this project had the potential to be. Helping them choose books and giving them recommendations for what to read next was especially rewarding. That is why in the future I want our project to continue to accomplish more of this one on one interaction with the children we want to have an affect on.
Over the next year as a senior Service Learning Project, I hope that we continue to have contact with the children we want to influence and expand on the ways we do that. The idea of attending the Orange County Children’s Book Festival has become increasingly appealing to my group. There are other book festivals later on that we can also attend and hopefully participate in. We also have the idea of a book drive at our school so that we can then donate those books. As a group we also want to talk to more children though visiting schools or reading at a local library. Overall, I cannot wait to continue this project over the next year.