Reading for Life

Principle Investigator: Alesha Seroczynski, Ph.D.

The Reading for Life project was developed six years ago as a local alternative diversion program to help area juvenile offenders reduce their risk of reoffending. The program was designed as a character education program grounded in Aristotelian and Thomism virtue theory. This reading intervention project uses the Harry Potter novels to teach virtuous character development. The 20 session program allows participants to select a book of their choice. Students receive instructions on the seven “virtues” — justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude, fidelity, hope and charity — and how they can apply those virtues to the stories they read. For each program participant, involvement in a community service project is required.
The goal of the study is for the program participants to have no further contact with the law. One of the key findings of this study has shown that more than 95 percent of participants have had no further contact with the law. The success of this program is due in part to students seeing themselves as being treated not as a criminal.
This project is not recruiting new participants.

For additional information, please contact Alesha Seroczynski, at seroczynski.1@nd.edu.