Social Work honors students donate books

Kesha Williams
March 07, 2011


It's only been one year since Pi Psi, a chapter of the Phi Alpha Honor Society for social work majors, was established at Elizabeth City State University. When the time came to complete a service project, the group's members found a worthy cause - a bookdrive for students at Northside Elementary School.

Alicia Payton is an ECSU senior from Greenville, N.C., majoring in social work. She is completing her internship by working as a student social worker at four local schools that include Northside Elementary School. She works under the supervision of Ms. Midge Hudyma, a full-time social worker for the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Schools.  School social workers provide counseling services to students and assist with any social problems that might interfere with a student's progression in school.

One of the teachers at Northside Elementary School, Nancy Tomlinson, started a reading program designed to enhance the students' reading skills. An incentive for students' participation, was for the students to own one or more books they completed reading. After hearing about the reading program, Ms. Payton relayed the news to the social work honor society members. Soon afterwards, the members made a book drive and a book donation their goal. Mr. Tommy Cox, director of field education and an advisor for Pi Psi, was pleased with their first project.

"This project was an opportunity for students to volunteer their services and volunteering is a great part of what social workers do. The social worker is an advocate for education and learning so this was a really good project for them," Cox said.

The honor society members purchased new books which could be donated to the Northside Elementary School children. They collected approximately 60 new books then donated them late in January. The students have been busy reading. Payton volunteers as in intern at Northside Elementary School on Thursdays. She said the internship that has provided her with a good view of the contributions social workers make in area schools.

"The students really appreciated the books that covered a lot of different topics. They responded positively when we brought the books in the classroom. As in intern I hear the students read each week and I can see the improvements they are making," Payton said.

Tomlinson agrees with Payton, the bookdrive was a good project for the honor society and for the young readers.

"The students were thrilled with the stacks of books that came in. The kids chose two books to take home. They've written thank-you notes to the ECSU students who donated the books," Tomlinson said.

Pi Psi's goal is to donate up to 100 books. They plan to donate 40 additional books to the second graders before the honor society students complete this semester at ECSU.