|Tennessee native works to enhance literacy
RELEASED: May 29, 2003
DANVILLE, KYCentre senior Stephanie Casey had a lot to do in the weeks leading up to her graduation this past weekend. But she still found the time to organize an event to help others.
The Knoxville native recently organized the Reach Out and Help program to collect new and used books for the children of low-income families. These books, as well as books purchased with monetary donations, will be distributed to families at well-child clinics in Lexington and Louisville.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Jan Wertz said, "Stephanie initiated the campus-wide Reach Out and Help program as part of her independent study in community psychology. This community-service project, along with others she performed this term, has been meaningful and well organized."
Research has shown that the percentage of parents reading to their young children is lowest among the poor. Often these parents don't have the resources to provide reading materials for their children, but the percentages increase significantly when the adults are given children's books.
"The book drive involves different aspects of the community, because it gets people involved in the donation process, but at the same time it goes back to benefit people who really need it," said Casey, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in psychology.
And while some departing seniors might be taking some time off this summer, things won't slow down for Casey.
"This summer I'm going to work at the University of Pittsburgh doing eating disorder research using PET [Positron Emission Tomography] Scan technology. So I'll learn about image processing.
"They've found that once youve had an eating disorder, there are permanent changes in the brain so they're trying to use the PET Scan to study those changes."
After that she plans to do volunteer work with AmeriCorps, then hopefully go on to graduate school.
Thanks to a friend, Casey found her way to Centre.
Casey said that when she was in high school one of her friends was being recruited by Centre's soccer program and she didn't want to travel to Danville alone for an interview. Casey came along for the ride because Centre sounded exactly like the college she was looking for.
"Then I saw the campus, and I knew this is where I wanted to go," Casey said.
The college encourages volunteer service with a community service day each year as part of the orientation for first-year students. For more information, contact Trina McFarland, assistant director of student life for service and leadership development, at (859) 238-5479 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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