CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — West Texas A&M University’s AmeriCorps program, in partnership with a Canyon-based nonprofit, is bringing the gift of reading to elementary school students across the Texas Panhandle.
Members of WT’s Rural Resilience and Opportunity on the High Plains AmeriCorps program will partner with the Leader Readers Network founded by former WT staff member Chris McGilvery in 2012 and visit students from Canyon, Dalhart, Friona and Hereford in as part of the program’s service day program.
According to WT, the network “works with teachers to pair older students with younger ones with the aim of fostering leadership skills, enabling child-centered coaching and encouraging a love of reading” .
Laura Seals, Deputy Director of R2OHP’s Office of Academic and Regional Collaboration, explains the significance of Martin Luther King Day, as it stands and AmeriCorps’ official Day of Service since 1994.
“These days of service offer our AmeriCorps members the opportunity to engage in meaningful service, gain experience in a new educational setting, and be part of a larger effort to ensure that children of underserved communities have equal access to books and the opportunity to be passionate about their learning,” Seals said.
“Leaders Readers Network is a perfect match for our members because both organizations are committed to increasing the level of education around the Panhandle, as well as creating a more supportive, resilient, inclusive and equitable environment,” Seals continued. .
WT detailed that on January 14, AmeriCorps members delivered books to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students at Lakeview Elementary School in Canyon, and that members are expected to deliver books to middle school. Dalhart on January 19, at Friona Primary School and Hereford West Central Primary School. January 21.
The MLK Day service project will result in the donation of over 750 books, including bilingual books and according to WT, since the program began in October 2020, AmeriCorps members have worked at the school across the Panhandle , including, Hereford High School, Tulia High School, Randall High School, Pampa High School, Highland Park High School, Canyon High School and Friona High School.
The program continues to seek mentors, recruiting from Amarillo College, Frank Phillips College and Clarendon College, as well as retired teachers, counselors and community members.
WT added that selected members will serve from January through July in their communities and will receive a monthly living allowance and, upon completion of service, may receive a Segal AmeriCorps Scholarship to assist with student loans.
To apply for the program, visit my.americorps.gov and search for the WT program.