When it comes to serving those in need, the Bay Path University community demonstrates resounding generosity.
Every year for the past decade, under the leadership of Dr. Diane Hall, LMHC, CCCJS, Professor of Psychology, classes in the forensic psychology program have conducted a book drive to benefit at-risk and incarcerated youth. This year, students in Dr. Hall's Social Problems class conducted the book drive.
The students work collaboratively on the book drive in all aspects — decorating boxes, creating flyers, collecting the books, sorting them, and making the book delivery to the recipient organization, which changes year-to-year. As part of their coursework, students learn about the relationship between education, juvenile delinquency, and adult crime.
“Literacy is the foundation of opportunity. Without the ability to read, doors to opportunity close,” Hall said. “Reading provides an outlet for the youth, one that builds important life skills.”
This fall, Hall selected the YWCA to receive books from the University drive, to benefit its Teen Parent programs located in Springfield and Holyoke. The YWCA provides case management, support groups, parenting and life skills support, as well as educational and vocational support to all residents within these two programs.
Last year, the University community was close to breaking the 15,000 book donation mark over the years. This year, that milestone mark was not only
“I am very delighted to tell you that this year the Bay Path community donated 1,551 books for the Teen Parenting program at the YWCA,” Hall said. “This puts our collection over the years at more than 16,000 books to a variety of agencies who service at-risk or incarcerated youth. I can’t thank the Bay Path community enough for their commitment to this cause every year.”
Hall noted that the books always get put to good use:
"In a recent conversation with Sara Roper, an alum of Bay Path’s forensic psychology program who now works with gangs at Roca as Program Manager, she said that the guys will often chill out on the couch and bury themselves in a book. Reading can be a great distraction to stop intrusive or unhealthy thoughts, or just take your mind to a different place. I have no doubt that these books will be put to good use as well.”
Past organizations to benefit from the drive include:
Salvation Army Bridge Program
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Department of Youth Services (several different programs)
CHD Community Adolescent Treatment Program