Inspiring Young Readers with Community-Word Project

17 Dec 2014 -

(Above L-R: Jaselle Yrizarry-Pabon; Sarah Kreinbihl; Danielle Cruz; Lucitania Gonzalez and Community-Word staff.)

By Sarah Kreinbihl and Lucitania Gonzalez

Time Warner Impact teamed up with Community-Word Project for two special holiday-themed volunteer days this month. Community-Word Project is an NYC-based arts-in-education organization that establishes collaborative arts residencies in New York City schools, after-school programs and public libraries to bring professional writers and artists to underserved classrooms and provide kids with a unique, arts-integrated curriculum.

During the first Impact day, volunteers gift-wrapped books students at NYC's P.S.132 had "wished” for this holiday season. Last week, a group of Time Warner employees volunteered their time with the second-graders of P.S. 132 Juan Pablo Duarte in partnership with Community-Word Project.

The volunteers distributed more than 120 books and snacks that had been previously wrapped by members of Time Warner's business resource groups APEX, BE@T, OUT, Parents Exchange and V!VA. The books will help students become stronger readers and storytellers.

The volunteers also had the good fortune of participating in several activities in which the second-graders learned about emotions and poetry, ultimately reciting their own anaphoras (the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of a clause). “I feel strong / I am brave / I feel joyful / I am emotional” were just some of the empowering proclamations made by the students. 

Perhaps most moving was each session’s closing ritual, during which a student led his/her peers in declaring, “I have a voice.  My voice is powerful.  My voice can change the world.”

The time spent with the students affirmed the power of creative expression, and ultimately left the Time Warner volunteers feeling truly inspired.  

Sarah Kreinbihl is a Manager, Global Real Estate, Enterprise Services, at Time Warner Inc., and Lucitania Gonzalez is a Real Estate Accountant at Time Warner Inc.