Using Virtual Book Clubs to Support Student Access to Education

Hear about a new literacy effort organized by Yale Alumni Service Corps and Amandla Development for promising students in grades 7 and 9 in the township of Philippi, an underserved community on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa.

Due to the legacy of apartheid education, most kids in Philippi are not exposed to a culture of reading, making literacy a major challenge. To encourage reading and develop comprehension, the students read Kwame Alexander's Crossover series. After completing the series, Yale volunteers and local mentors, led by YASC veterans Ann Kennedy PhD and Judy Kessen Crawford ’76, used fun and interactive activities to encourage engagement.

Join us for a virtual discussion of this program as part of Celebrate Service Week and hear Ann and Judy share their experiences, discuss lessons learned, and identify ways to improve future sessions.

The panel will also include Andrew Burgie ’87, trip producer for YASC Puerto Rico 2023, who will discuss expanding the reach of this program with a virtual book club for students in underserved communities in San Juan. The project will be organized in collaboration with Instituto Nueva Escuela (New School Institute), a nonprofit organization whose mission is bringing Montessori education to public schools and supporting the families of enrolled students.

You May Also Be Interested In