For National Make a Difference Day, October 26, College Possible Milwaukee went “trick-or-reading” in neighborhoods around Milwaukee for a children’s book drive to support the elementary school students of Marquette University’s Hartman Literacy and Learning Center.
Dedicating their Saturday to the cause, more than 175 College Possible students, staff, and service corps members traveled door-to-door in Milwaukee neighborhoods to collect new or gently used children’s books for donation to the Hartman Literacy Program, which provides tutoring to students in 2nd through 5th grades who are behind their reading levels.
Students from the 10 College Possible partner high schools worked together to collect books in the neighborhoods surrounding their schools in the morning. Then, all gathered at Riverside University High School in the afternoon to make encouraging cards for the younger students in the Hartman Literacy Program.
“There was a lot of support within the community. People thought it was a great program and that we should do this again next year,” said Llyswen, a College Possible junior coach.
College Possible makes community service a key component for the low-income students it serves. College Possible services are no-cost to students, but in return they are expected to participate in at least two community service projects a year. By encouraging students to develop an ethic of service, College Possible helps them see their own potential for making a difference in their communities and they develop leadership skills. Additionally, College Possible’s emphasis on service aligns with the Milwaukee Public School District’s recently added graduation requirement of twenty hours of community service or a service learning class.
“I did have a lot of fun, but it was also really productive and a good opportunity to give back to the community” said Marco, a student from Saint Thomas More.
In total, College Possible gathered hundreds of books and made over 300 cards.
At the end of the event, Cailin Santy Hostad, a program coordinator from the Hartman Literacy and Learning Center, spoke to all the students involved. “All of you guys have your sights set on college, so you know how important education is…I know that the kids will be thrilled, the Marquette students will be thrilled, and you just made our program that much better.”