Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

SLU Students Help Implement Branching Out With Books

Poster Presentation on December 12th


Submitted by Brenda Papineau and Molly Plunkett

Branching Out With Books (BOWB) is a reading program that strives to create an environment where reading is fun and enjoyable in a manner that fosters and encourages the development of literacy skills. Branching Out With Books is supported by a grant through the Charles R. Wood foundation.

Through a course taught by retired St. Lawrence University professor Celia Nyamweru entitled "Environmental Perceptions and Indigenous Knowledge", six SLU students have been implementing programming at both the Boys and Girls Club and the Mohawk School. Every Thursday throughout the semester, the students and their professor travel from SLU to Akwesasne where they hold their class at the Boys and Girls Club and engage in service from 3-5pm between the two sites.

While at the Boy and Girls Club, the SLU students assist wherever there is a need in daily programming; this often ranges from homework help to playing outside with the club members. For the first time this fall, BOWB is being offered at the club and works primarily with the eight and nine year olds.

While at the Mohawk School, the SLU students, under the direction of Mrs. Michelle Bailey and Ms. Molly Plunkett (Community Mentor at SLU's Center for Civic Engagement), serve as reading mentors. This is the third time that BOWB is being offered at the Mohawk School. This semester the program has incorporated a new component of layered mentoring. Last year, fifth grade students were paired with SLU students only. With a greater emphasis on mentoring this year, second grade students were invited to participate and were then paired with fifth graders who acted as reading mentors. Each SLU student was then assigned to a grouping of second and fifth graders. Each week, participants engage in a number of hands-on literacy activities including one-on-one reading, small group reading, writing prompts and board games. (see picture)

To learn more about the students' learn and serve experience, there will be a Poster Presentation Night at the Mohawk School on Thursday, December 12th from 5:00pm-6:30pm. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.


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