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N.C. A&T Business and Economics Students, Faculty and Staff Volunteer on Literacy Day

By Jackie Torok / 11/19/2019 Academic Affairs, Employees, Students, College of Business and Economics

Byron Gaymon and Diamalee Santiago help a student find the slope of an equation in Amy Cox's middle school math class at Doris Henderson Newcomers School for International Children on Literacy Day.

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Nov. 19, 2019) – Ninety-five students, faculty and staff members of the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics (CoBE) volunteered during First Book’s Literacy Day at Doris Henderson Newcomers School for International Children on Friday, Nov. 15.

The annual service project is sponsored by CoBE; the Zeta Sigma Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honor society for accounting, finance and information systems students; and Big Four multinational accounting organization KPMG LLP.

The volunteers worked in three-hour blocks from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Guilford County school, which serves recently arrived immigrant and refugee students in grades 3 through 12 who are novice English speakers.

CoBE students served as class assistants, operated a “Continents of the World Fair” and distributed more than 400 books – one for each student – at the grade school.

Assistant principal Tiffany Cowen-Hinton ’10 said this academic year began with about 200 students but increased to 374, noting the top three languages spoken by the students are Spanish, Arabic and Swahili.

The school is a one-year program designed to help students who opt to attend acclimate to their new home country, Cowen-Hinton said. It is supported by strong community involvement such as N.C. A&T’s Literacy Day outreach. CoBE has participated in this event every year since 2013 and given away more than 1,500 books at the school.

“It is a day of volunteering that is truly fulfilling and inspiring,” said Lisa Owens-Jackson, Ph.D., chair of CoBE’s accounting and finance department. “Working with the children at the Doris Henderson Newcomers School has been a rewarding experience for the students and faculty.”

Savion Tonkins, a senior accounting student, said he loved seeing the students get excited about receiving their own books.

“A lot of them were checking to see if they got the same book as their friends so they could read them together,” he said.

Assistant accounting professor Nicole McCoy, Ph.D., who joined the CoBE’s faculty a year ago, said this was her first Literacy Day.

“This is the best fun I’ve had all semester,” she said while reminiscing over her favorite childhood books with N.C. A&T students who were preparing game pieces for the afternoon’s activities.

Darius Baker, a senior majoring in management information systems, said he most enjoyed interacting one-on-one with the students.

“Learning about what life is like for them was my favorite part of the day,” he said.

CoBE faculty and staff have always encouraged students to take advantage of the experiential learning opportunities available to them through N.C. A&T, including events like Literacy Day that serve the local community.

KPMG LLP, which recruits CoBE graduates, is a corporate partner of First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that has provided new books, learning materials and other essentials to children in need since it was founded in 1992.

 “These students at the Newcomers School are from all over the world and each one of them has a wonderful story to tell,” said Owens-Jackson. “These children are eager to learn and excited to share their culture.”

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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