April 25, 2016
NCI Students Give Back to the Community

For a child, having a book of their own can open new doors to learning and imagination. With that in mind, the students of the Longwood University Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work (BSSW) program at New College Institute (NCI) launched the “Pre-K Giveback” project.

The project was a great success as students distributed 468 books to preschool children in our community. These books were donated by NCI students, staff, Piedmont Governor’s School students, and other members of the community. After books were collected, the social work students coordinated efforts to read to local preschool classrooms and then share a book with each child to take home. In total, the initiative served preschoolers at eleven schools among Henry County Public Schools and Martinsville City Public Schools.

“Our Pre-K Giveback began as a course requirement, but the project became even more over time. Seeing the excitement on the children's faces as I read to them and while they chose their personal book, I knew our project had impacted the children in a positive way,” said Angela Stowe, Longwood BSSW student at NCI.

Sheilah Williams, Director of Clearview Early Childhood Center & School Nutrition Services, shared, "We are so appreciative to our community organizations that support our preschool program. Special thanks to NCI students for including Clearview in the Pre-K Giveback program. Our students love to read or "pretend to read" which is a very important pre-literacy activity. Reading helps develop basic communication skills, helps improve children’s vocabulary and expands their imagination. The donation of books reassures that our students have their own books at home to read. "

Nichole Helms, Preschool Teacher at Rich Acres Elementary School, said, “We, as educators, firmly believe that reading at a young age helps build important language skills and forms good habits that will last a lifetime. Our students were so excited to take a book home that would be their own and we encouraged them to have their parents read to them on a daily basis.”

This project benefitted the social work students just as much as the children they were serving, according to Janie Brazier, Longwood faculty-in-residence at NCI. “This project helped the students understand and apply the fundamental principles of social work practice in communities and organizations. This project was designed to bring awareness to a community issue. Students successfully identified the problem, assessed the need, created a plan, executed the plan,” continued Brazier.

Longwood BSW students will be presenting their service project on Monday May 2, 2016, at NCI’s King Hall. If you are interested in attending, please contact Professor Janie Brazier at (276) 403-5639.