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Liberty students spread love for literacy at local elementary school

February 28, 2014 : By Lena Wakim/Liberty University News Service

Children play with Flames athletes during Literacy Alive Day at Linkhorne.

Elementary children got the opportunity to play with Flames student-athletes and Liberty University School of Education students and learn about literacy during a Literacy Alive Day event at Linkhorne Elementary School, organized by Liberty's chapter of Kappa Delta Pi.

Liberty University School of Education students partnered with Flames student-athletes on Thursday, Feb. 27, for Literacy Alive Day, an event organized by Liberty’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the national education honor society.

Chapters worldwide hosted similar events in their communities. The group spent the day at Lynchburg, Va.’s Linkhorne Elementary School where they interacted with students, played games with them, and read to them, all while emphasizing the importance of literacy.

KDP funded the event, and with help from Liberty Athletics, every student at Linkhorne Elementary went home with a Liberty backpack with two to four books inside.

Last year, KDP worked with Linkhorne’s third- through fifth-grade students for the event, but this time Liberty students were able to serve the school’s entire student body of 485 students.

Kristina DeWitt, assistant professor in the School of Education and the counselor of Liberty’s KDP chapter, coordinated the event along with Liberty junior and KDP’s president, Erica Byrnside, and committee chair Jakob Ingersoll.

Athletes play reading-related games with students.
Flames athletes played reading-related games with the kids.

Education students spent time making crafts and reading books with the elementary schoolchildren, and Liberty Flames student-athletes played active, reading-related games with the children throughout the day.

“It’s all about giving back and sharing with students what we’re passionate about, and that is education. That’s why we’re here,” Byrnside said. “Our passion is education, but our mission is to share Christ’s love with everyone.”

DeWitt believes that this opportunity for Liberty students to volunteer in turn educates them on the importance of community involvement.

“Missions is across the street, not just across the world,” DeWitt said. “Being able to have our students go to places like a school or a hospital helps them to give back to their community and to show the love of Christ through their own walk.”

According to Linkhorne’s principal, Kathleen Sawyer, Literacy Alive Day is “the best event they do all year.”

“I’m just so thrilled to have the LU students here,” Sawyer said on Thursday. “I appreciate their willingness to share of their time and energy and their love for students. The children are having a wonderful time. We love the partnership that Liberty is willing to do with us, and we look forward to continuing it.”