In order to encourage students to read throughout their daily lives, the Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society at Florida A&M University will host its first book drive for FAMU Developmental Research School students.
Along with the Nursing Honor Society, they will try to collect books from March 5-April 24 for students to have. Both organizations will be collecting books for kindergarten through 12th grade.
“This is our way to give back to our community and it’s a way to make sure our future Rattlers are getting their fundamentals,” said Ashona Hopson, a counseling education graduate student from Miami and president of Chi Sigma Iota.
Hopson also said one goal both organizations wanted to achieve is to leave a big impression on the students at FAMU DRS.
“We want the children to continue to read on a daily basis and sometimes they need a boost to encourage them to pick up a book,” Hopson said.
Members of both organizations said they feel reading is fundamental and is something that should be taught at a young age.
“Reading is a big part of your everyday life and something that our community struggles with daily,” Hopson said.
Arland Billups, the advisor for Chi Sigma Iota, said his main reason for the drive is to help with the students’ cognitive development.
“Looking at the SACS visit and what they said needs to be done, I realize that our focus should be more on cognitive development and critical thinking,” Billups said.
Billups also said he feels the earlier students start, the more developed they will be in reading.
“We don’t have a specific goal set but we are hoping that all the college students and faculty come out and donate,” said Rochelle Jean-Luis, counselor and community chair.
“We want to reach as many students as possible.”
Jean-Luis said they plan to expand the drive to other schools in the years to come but they had to start home first.
“Because it is our baby school, we wanted to extend the hand to them first because they are the future of FAMU,” Jean- Luis said.
Hopson said the book donation will be a surprise and the organizations’ members can’t wait to see the students’ reaction.
“We are going to surprise them because we want to see the look on their faces,” she said.
“Kids seem to enjoy presents more when it’s a surprise.”
Jean-Luis said she hopes FAMU students will become involved with the book drive because it can have a positive impact on others.
“We hope for everyone to bring at least one book to change one child’s life,” she added.
According to members of the organization, people are encouraged to stop by and drop off books to donate. They want Rattlers to contribute to such a worthy cause. Books can be dropped off at the counseling center on campus, the Sunshine Manor. Jean-Luis will be there with open arms to receive the donations.