Image courtesy of RichSoil Alliance
Image courtesy of RichSoil Alliance

What do the King’s College Education Department and Mass Communications Departments have in common? They are both currently partnering with the RichSoil Alliance/Carrie Flower Program.

According to its website, the “RichSoil Alliance is a group of dedicated individuals serving the community by improving the lives of children and their families.”

The Education Department at King’s College, Dr. Laurie Ayre said the department started their partnership with RichSoil in spring of 2015. They were trying to find a field experience for education students that served children from Pre-K.

“It’s always been required that education students read aloud a children’s book for a class requirement,” Ayre said.

The series of books the education students read to children involve a character named Carrie Flower.

According to the RichSoil Alliance’s website, “Carrie Flower promotes healthy lifestyles by teaching children they are all unique and special, with different shapes, sizes, and colors. Together they make a beautiful bouquet.”

Ayre said education students do more than just read the text to children.

“The students read the books in an interactive fashion,” Ayre said. “That is to say that in addition to the actual reading, they incorporate discussion and other activities including singing, movement and props. Some of the props include a Carrie Flower doll, other dolls that are friends of Carrie Flower and other items unique to each book.”

Chair of the Mass Communications Department at King’s College, Dr. Scott Weiland, explained how the department got involved with this organization.

“We had an outreach from Laurie Ayre in the Department of Education, and she had mentioned that RochSoil Alliance had a wonderful project that they were working on implementing in a local school district. It involved a character whose name is Carrie Flower, in a series of books related to this character,” Weiland said.

Mass communications students are helping the RichSoil Alliance in multiple ways.

“Initially the request that was made from our friends at RichSoil was they were looking to have some video production done, and from there it snowballed into additional work,” Weiland said.

Students in a video field production course will be filming King’s College education students as they go to local schools in the future to read the Carrie Flower books to children.

For more information please contact Cynthia Post at (570) 814-3323 or visit www.RichSoilAlliance.org for more information on how your school can develop a partnership.