Lecture, book drive highlight literacy week

Clare Murray

The University celebrated National Literacy Awareness week with a book drive in the Connelly Center and a lecture for faculty entitled “Writing Beyond the Curriculum,” presented by Dr. Eli Goldblatt.

The book drive collected new and slightly used books for the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Elementary School in South Philadelphia.

The books will also benefit an adult literacy program at that facility.

According to Howard M. Walters, who is serving the University as a member of Americorps Volunteers in Service to America, the school’s library needs “up-to-date books that are in better condition” than the current ones.

In regard to the lecture, Walters said that Goldblatt did not want to “bore or frighten people with statistics about illiteracy in this country.” Rather he wanted to focus on how people could fix the problem.

Goldblatt is an associate professor of English at Temple University and former English professor and Writing Center director at Villanova.

Walters explained that college students can make a difference in addressing illiteracy.

With the help of University students, he is sponsoring a program to purchase copies of Shakespeare’s “Othello” for St. Charles Borromeo and to find a film production of the play.

Users of the library will be able to read and see “Othello,” showing them that “there is more to literacy and literature” than just books, according to Walters.