Indiana State University Newsroom

Project provides books for Ryves Community Center library

February 20, 2012

A project between future teachers and librarians at Indiana State University benefitted children at the Ryves Community Center, with the help of Center for Community Engagement grant.

Students of Julie-Marie Frye and Chad Becker, both assistant professor of curriculum, instruction and media technology in the Bayh College of Education, worked together to find books for the children who frequent the center.

Becker's pre-service teachers met with 22 children at the center to assess their reading skills as well as asked about the children's hobbies and books they liked to read. They passed that information on to Frye's future librarians, who then worked to find books that the children would enjoy.

The just more than $1,000 grant allowed professors to give 99 books to the community center's library and the 22 children involved in the project were the first ones to be able to check out the books, which spanned from comic books to "Junie B. Jones," "Goosebumps," "Owly" and the "2012 Guinness Book of Records."

"It's an entire sweep of what's available for children," Frye said. "The books were chosen based on children's interests and hobbies."

By choosing books that interest the children, the professors hope that it impacts the children.

"We hope it's getting them reading for fun that's the whole purpose of the grant," Frye said. "Reading doesn't have to be academic. It can be fun if it's something that you enjoy."

The project also gave future teachers and librarians the opportunity to work together so they "learn what they can do for each other," Frye said.

Librarians don't have to be seen as the gargoyles protecting silence and books.

"Librarians know books and they want to help you make your kids readers," Frye said. "It's busting cultural myths at the same time."

Books donated to the library at the Ryves Community Center. ISU/Courtesy photo
Children look at books selected for them by ISU students. ISU/Courtesy photo

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, associate director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or