It’s a regularly quiet Thursday morning at the Georgia Tech Library, but in a small corner of the second-floor open study area, there’s a buzz of activity involving some of the youngest members of Tech’s family.
Family Storytime, held from 10-11 every Thursday, is a rare opportunity for those living on campus to enjoy a fun and enriching activity aimed solely at children.
It’s a pilot program started by Nadia Szeinbaum, a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Diana Roldan Rueda, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Public Policy. In Spring 2019 they received a grant from the Office of Diversity’s Inclusion and Diversity Fellowship Program to help enrich the experiences of international graduate students with family living on campus.
"We had a few conversations to understand the needs of spouses and partners of students at Tech, and one of the suggestions that came up was to have more activities for children on campus" said Roldan Rueda. " So we contacted Bruce Henson, Jason Wright and Kimberly Goler-Stubbs at the Library. They agreed to host and collaborate with us and have been very helpful throughout the process."
Angela Sanabria is one of the mothers taking advantage of the program. Her husband, Frank, is Fulmer’s Building Hall director, and they live on campus. They’re new to town, so she brings her 16-month -old daughter to Family Storytime at the Library to get to know campus, other parents, and other children.
“We read a lot at home,” she said, “but I want her to come interact with other children. There are not many activities for young children on campus, so when a friend told me about the program, we decided to give it a try.”
Volunteering to read this week is Jeannie Lightsey, a member of the Georgia Tech Women’s Faculty Club. Her husband, Edgar Glenn Lightsey, is the director of the Space Systems Design Lab and associate director of the Center for Space Technology and Research. She’s active in the Friends of the Ponce De Leon Branch Library and jumped at the chance to be a part of the fun.
“Books are so important for children at this age,” she said. “It’s imperative that we get a book in every child’s hand.”