Buffalo State College student volunteers stop at Wegmans every Saturday not to pick up groceries, but to read to children and their families.
The college Elementary Education and Reading Department along with Wegmans sponsor the Global Book Hour promoting family literacy and global awareness at the Amherst Street location.
According to Read to Succeed Buffalo, 30 percent of adults read at or below the fifth grade level.
To help change this, Buffalo State education students volunteer their time to read to the neighborhood children every Saturday from 10:30 a.m to noon through Dec. 8.
“We generally get 20 to 30 children with their families to come out to this event,” said Dr. Kim Truesdell, a professor at Buffalo State College.
The Global Book Hour not only helps to promote literacy on the West Side, but also celebrates the cultural diversity this neighborhood offers.
“We are focusing on the immigrant experience this semester,” Truesdell said. “We do more than just reading. We explore different music, art, and even food together.”
Buffalo State will be hosting an ‘Adopt-a-Book’ fundraiser this month to help cover the expenses of the program.
“This is especially important because each child gets to take a book home with them,” Truesdell said.
The Global Book Project runs through December and will start again in the spring semester. By Jessica Chetney and Chelsea Goodridge