Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content

A Love for Reading: Student Volunteer Organization Connects with Local Third Graders

SVO members and advisor holding books in hallway at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.

Tristana Sattaur, Gabriella Jones, Melahat McQueeney, Professor Renee Adamany, and Corey Bub


Peter’s Chair, In My Mosque, Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, and Mae Among the Stars, a book inspired by the life of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space. These were some of the books that captivated the attention of third-graders at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Schenectady as a group of students in the College's Student Volunteer Organization (SVO) read to them and discussed the books afterward.

Tristana reading to students

Tristana Sattaur, Science major

Gabriella Jones sitting down in classroom reading to students

"I liked how engaged the kids were and they seemed really excited to read. A lot of them said that they go to the library outside of school.”


Melahat McQueeney decorating totebag in classroom

Melahat McQueeney, Nutrition major

Corey Bub decorating totebag in classroom

Corey Bub, Programming for Game Design major

Meghan Mazzariello decorating totebag in classroom

Meghan Mazzariello, Liberal Arts: Psychology concentration major

SVO members took with them diverse books that were collected through the YWCA NorthEastern NY. They also brought bags that they decorated. After reading to the kids, Gabriella, Melahat McQueeney, Corey Bub, and Tristana Sattaur asked the children questions about the stories. The books were sorted according to reading level and each child then picked out the book they wanted to take home.

SVO Club holding books in classroom

Professor Renee Adamany (shown above in the middle), who is the Advisor to the Student Volunteer Organization, said that a dry run was in order before they read to their audience.

“During part of our SVO meeting, we practiced reading the books,” she explained. “There’s a certain way that you read to children.” She added that their visit to MLK School was a great experience for her students. “We are always looking for good projects and this was a great fit with education. It connected to the DEI pathways we have established here and it helps get our students out into the community.”