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Students Read to Raise Money for School in Sudan

Publish Date: 11/13/2009

November 9, 2009

French major Jeff MooreMANSFIELD, PA— Inspired by Francis Bok’s visit to campus in September, and by reading his book, Escape from Slavery, students in Professor Lynn Pifer’s UNV 1100 class for English and Modern Language majors at Mansfield University decided they wanted to help Bok in his efforts to build a school in Southern Sudan.

Bok, a former child slave, spoke at Mansfield on September 3. He also visited several classes and met with students, faculty and staff.

“We decided to raise money for the school that Bok is building in his village, and we decided that the thing we do best is read,” Pifer said. “So we chose to do a ‘Read-a-thon.’”

On Thursday, November 12, students will read from noon-2 p.m. in Lower Manser Hall and at Jazzman’s Cafe in Alumni Hall.

The class has already raised $200 by conducting a “Read-a-thon” at Three Treasures Martial Arts in Corning on October 31.

“I take Tai Chi at Three Treasures and when the chief instructor, Larry Childs, heard what we wanted to do, he asked German major Sarah Dellsandro reads Zen Shorts to the children at Three Treasures Martial Arts on October 31.for a special story time session for kids,” Pifer said. “Five of my students; Marta Knapp, Brittany Vanvalkenburg, Jeff Moore, Sarah Dellsandro and Chris Puschert, read to several children and their parents. They read stories in English, French, Spanish, German, and one of the mothers read a story in Portuguese. As my grandmother would say, ‘a good time was had by all.’”

Students are gathering pledges and requests for Thursday’s “Read-a-thon.” For more information, or to make a pledge or request, contact Pifer at (570)662-4284 or

UPDATE: Thursday's "Read-a-thon" raised $350, bringing the total to $550 so far. Donations will continue to be accepted. If you are interested in donating, contact Lynn Pifer at (570)662-4284 or

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