Dr. Janice Walthour is Celebrity Reader at the St. Charles Children’s Learning Center
Students attending the St. Charles Children's Learning Center at the College of Southern Maryland were treated to celebrity reader Dr. Janice T. Walthour April 21 as part of National Poetry Month.
Appointed to the CSM Board of Trustees in 2007, Walthour is a life-long resident of St. Mary's County and graduated from George Washington High School in 1968 when it was one of two public high schools for black students in the county. She received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Morgan State University, a master's degree from George Washington University, and a doctorate in administration and supervision from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Walthour read selections from “Honey, I Love and other Love Poems” by Eloise Greenfield, and selected pieces by Artie Knapp and Laura E. Richards as well as her own poetry of “Gosh Josh” and “Shout Sister Lizzie.”
“I've loved poetry since I was a child. We would sit around on Sundays at my grandmother's and my uncles and aunts would present their favorite poetry and music,” said Walthour, who added that she writes poetry to honor family and friends for their birthdays, anniversaries and other life celebrations.
Walthour introduced children to the concept that poetry encompasses music as they sang Mother Goose rhymes and “This Little Light of Mine.”
“It was wonderful to see their interest and energy,” she said. “We moved, we talked, we shared experiences.” For a video of Walthour reciting “Shout Sister Lizzie,” visit https://youtu.be/hMB7nvbCIT0.
The St. Charles Children's Learning Center was established to provide CSM students, faculty and staff, as well as community members, quality, child-centered care. The center enhances the lives of children, their families and the greater Southern Maryland community. The center, which opened in 2006 with 20 students ages 8 weeks to 4 years old, now offers care for more than a hundred students from ages 8 weeks to 12 years old.
The CLC has earned a Maryland EXCELS Level 3 rating by the Maryland State Department of Education and is in the accreditation process. Located on CSM's La Plata Campus, the center offers 10,000 square feet of learning space including nine child-centered classrooms, a gymnasium and a prep kitchen. In addition, the center has its own private landscaped playground and access to the campus grounds.