Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Say Y.E.S. to literacy learning

Mary Katherine Duncan, Ph.D., professor of psychology, and myself have been chugging along on the BU Toy Library’s Say Y.E.S. (Youth Engaged in Service) program. It is a program designed to utilize the BU Toy Library’s Y.O.O. Rock Columbia County: Youth Outreach Opportunities, which lists dozens of local nonprofit organizations and agencies, as well as outreach opportunities to benefit each site.

A Service Club was created at St. Columba School for a group of students enrolled in the afterschool program who opted to participate. Like most BU Toy Library initiatives, Say Y.E.S. is committed to honoring all of the ways that individuals process information and to fostering their cognitive competencies, thus service club focused on interpersonal intelligence, spatial intelligence, and linguistic intelligence.

Say Y.E.S. emphasizes interpersonal intelligence, or children’s ability to relate to people, by selecting community projects in service of others to elevate them. For each project, the children are learning about the site, its function, how it helps people, and why they would benefit from the crafts we would gift them with.

Say Y.E.S. targets spatial intelligence, or children’s ability to visualize things by incorporating drawing, sculpting, coloring, and constructing things into our projects.

Through the use of the BU Toy Library’s die cut machine, Say Y.E.S. builds upon children’s spatial intelligence through craft projects.

Say Y.E.S. also encourages the children’s linguistic abilities—specifically, reading and writing, through activities like handcrafting banners to adorn the rooms at assisted living facilities and cards for hospitalized children.

The projects we are working on this semester in service club include:
  • decorating grocery totes for the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard to provide to local patrons
  • making mosaic Easter sunrise banners for citizens of the Maria Joseph Continuing Care Community
  • putting together care packages including hand-crafted book marks and cards for children and families at the Ronald McDonald House
  • making diaper bags for new and expecting mothers at Your Loving Choices, including hand crafted Happy Birthday cards, door hangers, and mobiles

    — Ashlie Hess is a graduate assistant with BU Toy Library.

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