Deciding whether to give a book to one classroom or a child in every classroom was a decision discussed and debated in the preliminary brainstorming stages of the 100 Days of Learning Program. Kimberly Hall is the children’s program executive for MSC Hospitality, a service organization at Texas A & M University dedicated to serving the campus and surrounding community for over 29 years. Kim wanted to give as much as possible to any and every child in the communities surrounding the University. Kim began to make 100 Days of Learning a reality.
The 100 Days of Learning Program reinforces and expands the celebration of kindergarten children across the nation. On the 100th day of school at the University, 100 Texas A & M students will read in 100 different classrooms throughout Bryan and College Station. Each student would be provided with a new book and a literacy packet aimed at promoting home literacy involvement. This program reaches each of the 2,000 kindergartners enrolled in the 19 public schools in the community. It exposes 100 diverse college students to the educational needs of our community, involves them in important aspects of community service, and allows them to serve as role models of literacy.
The students that volunteer in this program are from the university. Included are representatives such as the student body President, MSC President, Yell Leader, Corp Commander, Fish Camp Director, UACT director along with MSC Hospitality. They are involved in the planning, budgeting, fundraising, advertising, and development. The members are empowered through their participation, and Kim teaches them how to design and operate a program. Local businesses also get involved in supporting the program. For example, Whataburger, a local restaurant, donated 2,000 burgers to help establish a reading incentive program.
Kim has created a program that will touch many in the future. Book grants and other business contacts continue to be made for the 2000-2001 school year. The long-term goal of this program is to exponentially expand each year to reach more and more kindergartners. It is astounding that in two months, a team of university students, empowered by one leader – Kimberly Hall – would have the initiative and determination to obtain funding and support to give back to the community.