Students at Fairview Elementary School in High Point have received 300 new books from High Point University freshmen, who donated copies of their favorite childhood books.

Every year, the freshman students at the university are asked to share a favorite childhood book during High Point University’s “Welcome Week.”

 On Thursday, Nov. 9, the university’s Stout School of Education Fellows delivered the books to, and read excerpts with, kindergarten and second-grade students at Fairview.

 The university students get as much out of the program as the elementary school students.

“Having our students deliver the books and interact with the elementary students is such a meaningful and impactful experience their first semester at HPU,” said Rosemarie Tarara, an instructor of health education and director of Education Fellows in the Stout School of Education. “This is the sixth year that the Education Fellows program has been able to participate in this great tradition at HPU.”

Ryan Narwid, a freshman special education major from Columbus, New Jersey, said she’ll always remember the first chance she got to visit a local school in High Point.

“I loved giving the books and reading to them,” Narwid said. “Seeing the students getting so excited about books and us spending an hour of our day reading to them literally made their day. At the end of the day, that just makes me happy.”

Lauren Brown, a freshman elementary education major from Seabrook, New Hampshire, said the activity brought back memories of her middle school when a reading buddy system paired her as an eighth grader with kindergarteners.

“It’s great because I would love to teach kindergarten to around second grade,” Brown said. “I love that age level. I think they’re adorable. I like to try to give them a little fun because we’re guests but at the same time keep them to the task.”

Pam Greene, a Communities in Schools student advocate, said the book donation tradition is greatly appreciated by the elementary school and the families of the children who go there.

Communities in Schools is a Guilford County Schools program that’s designed to “surround students with a community of support to help them stay in school and achieve in life.”

“Having an adult come in to read a book and model reading is always important for our families, many who do not have books at home to read with their children,” Greene said. “Having their own book to take home and ask their family members to read to them fosters reading at home and is a special opportunity.”