Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Husky Reads:

Where are your sites?

All of our sites are in health-care settings in Hartford and include the pediatric Primary Care Clinics at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital and the Burgdorf Clinic, plus 2 City of Hartford WIC Clinics.

How do I get to Hartford?

Students use personal cars and UConn vehicles from Community Outreach to travel to Hartford. We can almost always arrange transportation for you at a time that fits into your schedule, especially if you are willing to drive other students in your own car or use Community Outreach vehicles.

Can I receive credit or be paid for this experience?

You can receive course credit in Nusc 281-Section 2, use your work-study options, click on the relevant links.

How much time does it take?

To participate, you will need a four hour block of time during weekday daytime hours (includes travel time). We expect you to make a commitment for the whole semester. You will also be required to attend the two-hour program orientation and literacy training and a five-hour volunteer orientation at your site.

Do I have to be a major in Nutritional Sciences?

Any UConn student can participate. 60% of students are not Nutritional Sciences majors.

How do you decide which students participate?

We give priority to majors in Nutritional Sciences and to students who are able to drive other students to Hartford in their own cars or in Community Ourtreach vehicles since transportation limits how many students can participate.

Do I have to know a lot about nutrition?

An interest in nutrition and health promotion in very important, but the kind of nutrition education we do is basic. For example, some of the nutrition messages we promote include 1) eat breakfast every day, 2) stay active, 3) eat more fruits and vegetables, and 4) try new foods.

Do I need to know a lot about literacy promotion?

The kinds of literacy activities students do include familiarizing children with books, reading aloud from books about food and nutrition, and encouraging children to practice reading aloud themselves.

Do I need to be able to speak Spanish?

No, but some Spanish-speaking ability is very helpful in communicating with families at certain sites. If you speak some Spanish, your skills are greatly needed and you'll be able to practice your Spanish in a relaxed setting.

I see this is a service-learning experience. What does that mean?

Husky Reads is structured for all volunteers using a service-learning model of experiential education. Service-learning is a learning experience that combines community service with explicit learning objectives, preparation, and reflections. The key element of service-learning is reciprocity of learning between the service providers (students) and service recipients (families at the clinics). We believe the families you'll be working with can teach you as much as you'll teach their children.

I've heard that you sometimes have jobs for students or other volunteer positions.

After students have successfully (defined as active and reliable participation) completed one semester in Husky Reads, they're eligible to apply for more advanced opportunities in community nutrition with our research group. In the past students have taught cooking classes in Hartford after school programs, provided personal training and nutrition counseling to overweight children, been empoyed as the undergraduate Husky Reads Coordinator, and conducted independent research projects. Students usually enroll for credit in Nusc 281 to participate in these options, but occasionally we have grant funding for student employee positions.

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