SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – For the second consecutive year, Wittenberg University shares a dedication to literacy and learning as community members contribute books to the Springfield City School libraries. Kimberly Thompson Macuare, visiting professor of English, has spearheaded the project.
A voracious reader, Macuare knows well the power of the written word.
"Almost all of a child's future educational development will be based on written texts," she said. "Books have the power to transport a child to another place or time period and offer experiences that may not be accessible in everyday life."
Building on the success of a literacy initiative started by Wittenberg English majors, the Clark County prison library has been added to the drive. Macuare thanked Arundati Dandapani, class of 2007 from New Delhi, India, for her efforts in making this happen.
"Like our community's children, this is a population in need of the benefits that building literacy skills can bring," Macuare said. "By offering these inmates a chance to develop additional competencies and explore new interests, we can help them move beyond their current situations and into new and more productive states."
In addition to the moral support of the university's faculty and staff, Macuare expressed gratitude to Lucille Cronin, head librarian at Snowhill Elementary School, who developed the wish list of books requested from each Springfield city school, and to Ken Irwin, Wittenberg reference librarian, who created a Web site for online donations.
"I would like to thank Ken for the support in organizing the drive and the invaluable assistance with creating and maintaining the Web page," Macuare said. "Also, Lucille Cronin, who once again did all of the legwork with the school libraries in order to get the lists of needed books."
The book drive began April 23 and has resulted in 120 books, or $1,755 in donations, and will draw to a close Friday, May 11. Readers may increase the donation figures by visiting the Web page and selecting both the school(s) and the book(s) that have inspired, transported or simply pleased.
"Although this is my last year here at Wittenberg University, it has given me great pleasure and pride to be associated with such a generous and caring group of staff, students and faculty, and this book drive will always be a cherished memory," Macuare said. "For the rest of the Witt community, I hope that it remains as more than a memory, growing every year and demonstrating our university's commitment to literacy and the Springfield community."
Written By: Phyllis Eberts