Children at MTSU’s Child Development Center have installed the building blocks of their future by stocking their brand new shelves with books.
Representatives of honor societies Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa recently presented the center at 820 Fairview Ave. in Murfreesboro with its very own Little Free Library, the second such small lending library established on campus. The organizations set up the first one outside the Ann Campbell Early Learning Center Sept. 27.
“You can see the voyage of discovery,” said PKP Student Vice President Nathan Wahl. “They’re already asking for new books or asking to take these books home. It’s going to create enthusiasm for reading.”
After each of 13 youngsters between the ages of 3 and 5 placed a book in the bookcase, PKP Student Vice President Maria Hite read “Take Care, Good Knight” by Shelley Moore Thomas. The children paid close attention to the compelling tale of three little dragons charged with taking care of a wizard’s cats even though they could not read his instructions.
“I love to read, and I think trying to get kids to love learning and reading at an early age is so important,” Hite, a senior from La Vergne, Tennessee, said.
The Child Development Center serves 33 children by employing a play-focused curriculum to promote learning. MTSU early education majors gain valuable experience through their work in the lab school environment.
Director Stephanie Clift-Bourgault welcomed the Little Free Library, which will make books available for the children to take home if they choose.
“It’s critical to teach kids the importance of books, that learning is easy, that they can do it as young as 2 years old,” Clift-Bourgault said. “Learning how to turn the pages of a book is just the start of learning to love reading.”
The occasion was doubly celebratory for Phi Kappa Phi. The honor society’s national office had just bestowed its Circle of Excellence—Platinum Chapter designation on the MTSU chapter. The award resulted from collaborations with Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life, as well as Little Free Libraries, which is supported by a national PKP literacy grant.
“Our most recent recognition as a platinum-level chapter, the highest award given by the national office, is the result of our students’ successes and our chapter’s high level of activity,” said Philip Phillips, assistant dean of the University Honors College and immediate past president of the MTSU PKP chapter.
For more information on Phi Kappa Phi, go to https://www.mtsu.edu/pkp/. For more information on Omicron Delta Kappa, go to https://odk.org/circle/mtsu/. For more information on the Child Development Center, go to https://www.mtsu.edu/cdc/index.php.
— Gina K. Logue (firstname.lastname@example.org)