Pre-schoolers in the area recently benefited from a St. F.X. service learning activity that involved students in a Spanish introductory course.
On March 27, in the play-area at the People’s Place Library, students were reading to the children from books they created during their course study.
“With this project, what they have to do is create a story that integrates elements of Hispanic cultures,” associate professor Wojciech Tokarz said, as he observed the activity at the library.
“It can be from any country that Spanish is the predominant language or they integrate some words in Spanish and create a book for children, pre-school aged children.
“Something very basic and they have to draw images and things like that … something that will be attractive to small children as well.”
Tokarz said it gives the students an opportunity to share their knowledge in a creative form.
“And it’s fun for the kids, of course, but, most importantly, it allows our students to get out of the university and into the community,” he said
“This is an unusual project within service learning. Usually service learning involves a much bigger commitment within the community but this one is kind of an introduction. So, because this is a 100 level course, this is an opportunity for students to just see how things look like in service learning.”
Tokarz said it has been a “very successful” project.
“This is the fourth or fifth year we’re doing it with the (People’s Place) public library and, as you can see, everyone is smiling and happy,” he said.
“It’s important to us that students feel good about what they’re learning, that they realize, outside the rigors of the classroom, there are some practical things you can do with language and it’s pleasurable too … which is very important, especially at this time of the year because they’re tired,” he added with a chuckle, referencing the end of second semester being in sight.