In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, human connection is more important than ever. With health and safety guidelines minimizing the opportunities for in-person connections, many are finding comfort in online communities. Social media platforms such as Instagram have offered a space for people around the world to speak, interact, and, in some cases, make a difference.
This is certainly the case for California Lutheran University’s (CLU) Instagram (@callutheran) campaign #SAVEWITHSTORIES. Launched on May 4th by the University’s Community Service Center (CSC), the campaign encourages individuals to post IGTVs of themselves reading children’s books to raise awareness of the effects of school closures during COVID-19 and to give children access to stories. For every video posted, the CSC will donate $2 to the #savewithstories campaign, which helps provide food and educational resources to children across the country, and $2 to their local food bank, Food Share of Ventura County.
Recognizing the importance of supporting children who are currently unable to attend school, Michael Dennin, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at the University of California, Irvine (OVPTL), joined the campaign.
Why is a Vice Provost at UCI supporting a CLU event?
First, Vice Provost Dennin strongly believes that we are all in this together—and it is by uniting that we thrive in times of adversity. Second, Dennin is not just a Vice Provost; he is also a proud father. His daughter Melissa, a student at CLU and a member of the CSC team, made him aware of this campaign.
To do his part, Dennin posted an IGTV of him reading a short children’s story titled “Hi, Pizza Man!” by Virginia Walter.
Speaking on his participation in the campaign, Dennin explains, “Giving back has always been important to me, and it is so rewarding when my children take a leadership role in service to the community.”
With the goal of raising $1,000, the #SAVEWITHSTORIES CSC Campaign ends this Friday, March 8th. Interested individuals are encouraged to participate by posting their own videos. As Dennin points out,
“Something many of us have right now is an abundance of time. If the two minutes I spend sitting down and reading a short story can brighten even a single child’s day, then that’s time well spent.”