Literacy activity kits for kids are displayed on a cart in Steen Library.

Students in Dr. Heather Olson Beal’s “Sociocultural and Historic Perspectives in American Education” course created literacy activity kits for kids visiting the Stephen F. Austin State University campus that are available on the first floor of Steen Library.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Students in Stephen F. Austin State University’s secondary education program created book-based activity kits for children to enjoy while their caregivers study, work or visit campus.

Intended for children in pre-K through sixth grade, the kits can be found on a book cart on the first floor of SFA’s Steen Library. Currently, there are 15 books to choose from that have adjoining activity kits with instructions.

The books can be checked out from the library services desk and enjoyed anywhere in the library then returned to the same desk. Children are welcome to keep the kits, which include things like coloring sheets, word games and scissors for cutouts, as well as extension activities that they can do at home and information about the author and illustrator.

Students in education studies professor Dr. Heather Olson Beal’s “Sociocultural and Historic Perspectives in American Education” course selected books from the Steen Library curriculum collection to create the literacy activity kits. Created with assistance from research librarian Tina Oswald, Olson Beal hopes the activity kits will make the campus more family friendly.

“It’s beneficial to my students in an introductory course because it’s a real, hands-on project wherein they are developing fun activities to do that are loosely associated with a book in the library’s curriculum collection,” Olson Beal said. “I hope it’s beneficial to faculty, staff, students and even community members with young children who visit the library. Seems like a win-win!”

Sarah Cook, a junior theatre education major from Brownsboro, Texas, and Mac Burns, a junior theatre education major from Belton, Texas, selected the book “Pink is for Blobfish” by Jess Keating. Their activity for this book was a matching game for kids to sort pictures of different animals into their respective colors.

“I think the kids will enjoy the activity portion of the kit most because it grabs their attention and helps them relate things from the book to the activity,” Cook said. “Projects like these bring us together to strive toward a common goal: bettering the education of students. To be a part of something like this has been a wonderful experience.”

Olson Beal said 45 kits were made last semester and are only available while supplies last.

For more information about the activity kits, contact Oswald at or call (936) 468-1861.