Purdue veterinary medicine students to give children free books at Hanna Community Center

May 29, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Students in the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine on Wednesday (May 30) will give free books to children in the Hanna Community Center afterschool program.

The event will take place at 4 p.m. at the Hanna center, 1201 N. 18th St., Lafayette.

Purdue Veterinary Medicine (PVM) students work weekly with elementary school students in the Hanna afterschool program on homework and reading.

Jasmine Coe, a third-year veterinary student, is leading the ambassadors' new literacy program, a partnership among PVM, Hanna and Scholastic Books. The program attempts to promote literacy; build science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills; and foster diversity.

At the event, each Hanna child will receive four books in a PVM tote. Those include a book about animals, a multicultural book, a math book and a book written in both English and Spanish. The books are geared toward two age groups: grades kindergarten through second grade, and third through fifth grades.

PVM recently was approved as a member of Scholastic's Literacy Partnership Program in which Scholastic provides books at a reduced cost for partners, who then distribute them for free to children in their communities. The Purdue Office of Engagement provided seed money to launch the initiative.

At least two to four PVM ambassadors and about 40 children from Hanna are expected at the event.

The PVM ambassadors seek support for the program to achieve their goal of providing at least one free book each month to every child enrolled in the afterschool program. Individuals or organizations interested in supporting this effort should contact Dr. Sandra Amass, associate dean for engagement, a veterinarian and professor of veterinary medicine, at 765-494-8052 or amass@purdue.edu.

PVM ambassadors are veterinary medicine and veterinary technology students who work in a variety of programs. These include working with small groups of elementary and middle school students at PVM for educational programs and volunteering at Hanna. Last summer, PVM ambassadors took about 50 Hanna summer campers to the Indiana State Fair for Purdue Day.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-497-9611, gmcclure@purdue.edu

Sources:  Kevin Doerr, Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine, 765-494-8216, doerrkr@purdue.edu  

                   Sandra Amass, 765-494-8052, amass@purdue.edu