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Storybook Forest

by Andres Rodriguez


Submitted : Fall 2008

Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, and service. Mortar Board is dedicated to cultivate reading ethics at numerous levels of education, including students of any age, as well as non-native English-speakers who learn English as a second language (ESL). The organization strives to promote literacy in the Tampa area and is determined to carry on that goal in a variety of ways, including books drives, reading at children’s hospital and clinics, functional literacy workshops, book donations and reading activities and games. By doing this, Mortar Board’s members not only develop a sense of service and leadership, but most importantly, it allows them to build relationships with kids by creating a strong bond through the numerous reading activities which often delivers a profound effect in the children’s lives.  Mortar Board’s annual community service event Storybook Forest is the organization’s biggest event in which members work arduously to make sure children in the community have access to books, at the same time that members cultivate the importance of reading. The objective of this project is to study Mortar Board’s performance particularly for the Annual Community Service event Storybook Forest, in order to account for the success or lack thereof, towards the efforts of promoting literacy among children in the Tampa bay area. Additionally, further analysis per age groups can give an idea of the demographic sustained thus far by the organization. Furthermore, the data and patterns produced can conduct to make a prediction regarding the future outcome of the organization’s initiative. This is achieved by accounting for the number of children who attend the event and the number of books donated from 2005 through 2008. This data allows to calculate the sample median, sample variance, standard deviation as well as solving for the least square line in order to predict Mortar Board’s performance and sustainability for the 2009 storybook forest event.

After analyzing the results obtained from the various statistical operations taken, a permanent increase is reflected in both the number of children attending Mortar Board’s Storybook Forest event, as well as the number of books collected for donations by the organization. It is also found that the number of children between the ages of 5 to 6 represented the smallest group of kids attending the service event. On the other hand, children between the ages of 11 to12 represent the age group with the highest percentage of attendance. In consequence, the age group with the lowest percentage lies on children between the ages of 5 to 6, while the age group of children between the ages of 11 to12 represents the group with the highest percentage of children population receiving books. Additionally, by creating a linear regression line, it is predicted that future Mortar Board chapters at USF, will surpass the current mark of children attending the event as well as the amount of books donated in an effort to continue to promote literacy among kids in the community. Given these findings, Mortar Board’s principles of scholarship, leadership, and service are honored.



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Advisors :
Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics
Amy Simon, Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement
Suggested By :
Amy Simon