Heart of America? Books!


According to The Heart of America Foundation website, “61% of low-income families have no books at all in their homes.” At Martha’s Table we encourage our students to read and we provide a supportive academic environment to meet each individuals students needs. Volunteers are a great part of helping us to achieve this mission. On August 22nd, the Heart of America Foundation brought a group of American University Freshman to read to our Children’s Programs. The volunteers split up between classes to read their childhood favorites such as Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse and Stellaluna. The volunteers did a fantastic job bringing the story to life and engaging the class by showing all of the wonderful images in the books and asking questions.  The kids giggled as the volunteers changed their voices to match characters and applauded between stories.

When asked what her favorite part of coming in was, AU Freshman Greta Gustafson said, “Reading to the kids of course! I’ve only been here for a couple of hours and it’s already such a great experience.” AU Freshman Rebecca Sherouse, says that she loved how our children are “the sweetest kids in the world and so eager to learn.” Martha’s Table focuses on encouraging volunteers to take advantage of giving back and making volunteering fun. It is fantastic to have such enthusiastic volunteers join us and volunteer with our children. There is always a volunteer opportunity that links to someone’s passion. The children loved the pictures, stories, and spending time with the volunteers. One student’s favorite part was, “when the volunteer read about Stellaluna eating the mango!”

Along with reading the books to the children, the Heart of America Foundation also donated all of the books they brought in which resulted in enough books for each of our 250 students to bring a few home. Our students love to read and book donations are always a great help. If you’re interested in making a donation please contact Nadia Sicard, Development and Volunteer Coordinator at Thank you Heart of America Foundation and American University’s Freshman Service Experience for coming in and volunteering with our children.