As the maxim goes, “when it’s nice, you do it twice.”
It was apparently nice – and greatly appreciated – as officials from the Long Island Branch of the National Association of University Women (NAUW) last Thursday took the extraordinary step in reading again to kids at a Guyanese-owned daycare center in Laurelton, Queens. Last year, the group read to the kids for the very first time.
Laura Spencer, co-chair of the Literacy Committee of NAUW’s Long Is. Branch president, and Candice Scott, scholarship chair, read to the kids, whose ages range from one to six years, at Nicky’s Little Sprouts D.C., Inc., owned and operated by Guyanese Shaundell Agrippa, who is also a member of NAUW’s Long Island Branch.
“This was a wonderful visit,” NAUW officials told Caribbean Life after the reading session. “The children are bright, energetic and interested in the story. They remembered the name of the book and the author.”
Spencer and Scott said that, simultaneously, other branch members read to children at other schools on the “Read Across America Day.”
They said that they celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss by reading from his book, “The Cat in the Hat.”
Theodor Seuss Geisel (Mar. 2, 1904 – Sept. 24, 1991) was an American writer, cartoonist, animator, book publisher and artist best known for authoring children’s books under the pen name Dr. Seuss.
“The annual visit to Nicky’s Little Sprouts is always built around excitement for the children,” said Ms. Agrippa, the center’s director, who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brooklyn College. “They enjoy being read to.
“NAUW is a good organization, because they give back to the community,” she added. “They help to bridge and build strong connections among various groups through education at all levels.”
Ms. Agrippa said literacy is her main focus for children, who are struggling with reading.
“At NLS [Nicky’s Little Sprouts], we always encourage parents to come and read to the children,” she said. “Also, we take part in the Scholastic Book Club, whereby parents get the opportunity to purchase age-appropriate books to read to their children. Reading is fundamental.”
All were treated to a sumptuous reception at the reading’s end, Ms. Agrippa said.
In support of the National Strategic Plan, NAUW’s Long Is. Branch says that it engages in initiatives that support education, health and civic activities, as well as networking and cooperating with other community organizations, to produce health fairs, forums, black history events, tutorial and reading programs.
The branch said, however, that its main thrust is in the area of education – at all levels, preschool to college.
“The Long Island Branch is very proud of the many years of committed service to our neighborhood schools and the significant monetary scholarships that have been awarded to college freshmen since its existence, as well as its contributions to the Northeast Sectional Scholarship for Master’s Degree candidates,” said the branch in a statement.
Locally, the branch recently re-established its relationship with P.S. 147 in Cambria Heights, Queens, with the Project Styles Mentoring Program.