UWG Donates Books to Local Community

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This week, multiple organizations at the University of West Georgia participated in World Book Night, celebrated on Tuesday, April 23, by donating books to the local community. UWG’s Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society and the English education program of the Department of English and Philosophy partnered with Underground Books to present 100 brand new books to Mt. Zion High School. UWG’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion also worked with Ingram Library to distribute 240 books to multiple locations and organizations.

World Book Night U.S. is a campaign that promotes literacy across America. Volunteers give away free, specially printed copies of books to individuals and communities with limited means or access to printed reading materials. Each year, an independent panel of librarians and booksellers choose 30 books to be included in World Book Night. The authors of these books agree to waive their fees and the publishers pay for the cost of printing the World Book Night U.S. editions. Local groups volunteer to donate the books to the groups of their choice.

Ingram Library and CDI distributed free copies of Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones. Students, faculty and staff spent an entire day presented the books to a variety of organizations including the Temple Senior Center, Carrollton Senior Center, Men’s Shelter, Open Hands, Carrollton Recreation Department, Carrollton Housing Authority, Carroll County Emergency Shelter, Bowdon Track, Bremen Food Bank, Whitesburg Library, Villa Rica Recreation, Carroll County Corrections, and the Adult Literacy Program.

The UWG English Education program and Sigma Tau Delta chose Mt. Zion High School as the target for their donations. “The UWG chapter of Sigma Tau Delta consists of highly motivated and academically distinguished English students,” said Dr. Patrick Erben, faculty co-advisor for Sigma Tau Delta. “The partnership with World Book Night allows our students to share their love of literature with the local community and stress the importance of reading for the development of critical thinking skills among younger readers.”

The UWG English Education program partners with Mt. Zion High School in placing secondary English teacher candidates for field experience. Through the partnership, the program noticed the need for books especially full class sets of novels that can be taken home. According to Dr. Angela Insenga, UWG English professor, Mt. Zion and UWG have a special relationship. “Mt. Zion is the premier place to grow a teacher in our county,” said Insenga. “We have had six interns work here, four of whom went on almost immediately to be full-time teachers in the area.”

“It is such a joy to be a teacher-partner with the University of West Georgia's Teacher Education program,” said Nancy Monroe, English Department Chair at Mt. Zion High School. “Future educators from UWG's English Department who intern in my classroom have a high quality of excellence that assures me tomorrow's students will flourish under fine tutelage.”

The group donated 100 copies of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale to Mt. Zion’s English department. The high school students quickly decided to use this book as part of their summer reading. “It is a chief belief of mine that literacy is a right, and that young people, especially high school students, should be able to interact with a book on their own time,” said Megan Bell, UWG student and president of Sigma Tau Delta. “We are donating these in hopes that students will have more personal time with books in order to fall in love with reading and become life-long readers.”

“Students need more access to the kind of materials and inquiry they will encounter in their first-year college English experiences,” said Dr. Rebecca Harrison, faculty co-advisor for Sigma Tau Delta. “Sigma Tau Delta’s goal was to foster this kind of bridge work, and we plan to be there for Ms. Monroe and Mt. Zion in whatever support capacity they need in implementing the text.”

For more information about World Book Night, please visit www.worldbooknight.org.