Global Book Hour promotes imagination, heritage and community

Najee Walker, Associate News Editor

SUNY Buffalo State students and members of the West Side community came together at Wegmans on Saturday to participate in the first Global Book Hour of the semester.

The Global Book Hour is a program run by Professor Prixita del Prado Hill and Professor Patricia George. The program, along with another program known as Club HoLA, is a part of the larger project known as the Global Book Project. The basis of both programs and the encompassing project is to bring together Buffalo State students and the children of the community to give them both a new kind of hands-on learning experience.

The Global Book Project began in 2010, and has since picked up steam. First started by Kim Truesdell and del Prado Hill, the Global Book Project looked to bring a new way to use global children’s literature and bring it straight to parents and children in the area. George joined the team when Truesdell retired.

Each semester, the Global Book Project picks a theme to focus on and the books picked for children are geared toward it. The theme this semester is “imagination.”

The first book read by the students was “Journey” by Aaron Becker.

The Global Book Hour is held Saturday at Wegmans and Monday at the Westside Value Laundromat. For 10 weeks, snacks, arts and crafts, and — of course — books are provided to children who attend.

For Buffalo State education majors who are looking to become teachers, this is the time to get good field experience.

“[Teacher candidates] learn to develop read aloud skills, [and] interact with families to promote literacy in an authentic setting,” del Prado Hill said. “Each participating teacher candidate receives the book of the week to build their future classroom library.”

Children who attend the reading sessions vary in age from infants to eighth grade students. Older students are provided chapter books, while younger students tend to have read picture books aloud by one of the teacher candidates.

George emphasizes the importance of the setting for teacher candidates, as well as the children and their parents who attend. She believes that it is the perfect way for teacher candidates to practice what they learn in the classroom, while giving back to the community as well.

“Teacher candidates spread an important message to children in our community,” George said. “That reading is fun and books can take you on a journey around the world.”

The teacher candidates seem to agree with George.

“It’s cute,” Jessica Donovan, a junior music education major said. “I really like the kids. I got a good reaction out of them.”

Saturday was Donovan’s first time attending the Global Book Hour as a teacher candidate, and she said that she had a great time. The children were attentive, playful and often asked questions about what they were reading.

Lily Garcia, a junior in early childhood education, said that while it was her first time, she also had fun and enjoyed working with the children.

“I liked interacting with the kids,” Garcia said. “I also really liked the vocabulary we used today.” Both Garcia and Donovan agreed that they would participate again.

Christobel Anandaraj brought in her son, who is in the eighth grade. Her son has always liked reading and was really enjoying the program. She hopes to do this again with him, soon.

“I think it is good for him,” Anandaraj said. “It is a good place to read and it can help him in the future.”


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