Mariah’s Reflection

I have always had a love for reading, but year after year, I was plagued with the question, why?  When I was in elementary school, many of my friends did not have the same passion for reading that I did.  They read because their teachers required them to, not because they enjoyed it.  At the beginning of this year, I did not know what I wanted my group to be about, but we were required to attend workshops that would help us form our own service group.  I remember the one idea that every panelist reiterated was to find and focus on your passion.  I realized that I am passionate about reading and would love to share my passion with others.

With the assistance of Brenda, Sonya, and Kimaya, we created The Society of Bookworms, a group focused on promoting literacy and a love for reading among elementary and middle school children.  This year has allowed us to build the foundation for our senior year.  When we go to schools to speak, we have a variety of different activities planned to engage and excite the students.  We make connections between other forms of popular media- television, movies, and video games- and books.  Although we have not accomplished all of our goals, time was the only restriction, and with more of an opportunity to achieve our goals, I am confident we will complete much more.

Over the course of this year, our biggest accomplishment has been our meeting with two fourth grade classes at Jim Thorpe Fundamental Elementary School.  It was our first event that we were doing.  In the beginning, we were nervous, but once the kids came in, our worries were quelled.  Working with the librarian, Mrs. Rausch, we talked with the kids and helped them pick out a book during their library time.  The kids were excited and engaged, and I felt as though I was making a difference.  During every meeting with our service learning panel, we were able to focus and narrow down our goals.  The panel helped us enforce our original ideas in ways that were applicable and could be enforced.

Overall, this experience has been invaluable.  I am excited to make contacts that can assist us in the upcoming year, and I look forward to making an even greater influence on the community.

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