Meeting the Need before Learning to Read: A Holistic Approach to Educational Achievement
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Traveling to Peru with a group of students from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota opened my eyes to the numerous possibilities in my career as a librarian to make a difference in the lives of students who confront seemingly insurmountable obstacles to success. Our January Interim service learning course Education, Healthcare, and Poverty in Peru asked us to reflect on our individual purpose, expectations, and philosophy of service. Our small group of about 20 students came to the program from different fields with varying interests motivating our desire to participate in the course. The majority were nursing or education majors seeking to contribute their expertise through medical field work and English instruction, while others were either bilingual Spanish speakers or showed interest in pursuing a degree in medicine. I was drawn to the program because of the service aspect and the opportunity to use my Spanish language skills to engage with the people I would meet, live, and work with in Peru and to interpret for my team.