In January 2003, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) National Leadership Council, a group of current members elected by their peers to help the Board of Directors set policies and priorities for the Society, launched the Ready, Set, Read! initiative. A national community service effort designed to promote literacy education in all its forms, Ready, Set, Read! seeks to engage all NSCS chapters in a variety of projects locally, nationally, and internationally.
Author, Sandra Cisneros, has also lent her support to Ready, Set, Read! Because literature plays such a significant role in her life, Cisneros sees the importance of extending the joy of literacy to all people, which is precisely the goal of Ready, Set, Read!
Through to Operation School Bag, more than 1,000 pounds of supplies were sent to children in El Salvador whose homes were affected by earthquakes. Over 85 chapters donated supplies; one member studying in Spain shipped a 20-pound box of supplies in an amazing show of support!
The NSCS chapter at The University of Texas at Austin worked with the Adopt-A-Classroom foundation and adopted a second grade class at Becker Elementary. The chapter donated $500 to the teacher to purchase needed and desired school supplies for the class. In addition, members of the chapter helped with “Reading is FUNdamental” week (February 10-13) at Houston Elementary. Members read aloud to children, led kids around tables with books, replenished books on tables, helped kids write names in books, and handed out bookmarks.
NSCS members at Oregon State University are participating in a reading buddy program with a local elementary school. This school is among the 50 poorest schools in Oregon, which are in desperate need of help with implementing reading and literacy activities. Each week, volunteers spend time helping children learn to read and learn their letters and phonics.
The George Washington University chapter of NSCS in Washington, DC partnered with the Turning the Page organization. Turning the Page organizes workshops to teach parents how to better read to their children. While the parents are in their meeting, NSCS members volunteered to watch their children. They read stories, played games, and had an art class with pastels.