Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women recently distributed 20,000 new books to Phoenix area schools, after-school programs and community programs serving students from low-income families and Title I schools.
For many of the students, these are the first new books they have ever owned and are the first step to creating a lifelong love of reading.
The book distribution took place in honor of Pi Beta Phi’s Fraternity Day of Service, an annual event bringing Pi Phis together to serve their communities through literacy service. At the event, close to 250 alumnae and collegiate Pi Phis helped carry, sort and distribute books and facilitate 12 Dr. Seuss activities for over 300 children.
The three-day event was held at the Burton-Barr Central Library in Phoenix.
Phoenix was chosen as the book distribution location because it is an area of great need. In Phoenix, 42 percent of fourth graders fall below basic reading levels as reported by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
“We had close to 100 Phoenix-based recipient groups select as many as 400 books each for children they serve,” said Fraternity Day of Service Co-Chair Kim OBrien. “Three hundred children participated in literacy-based Dr. Seuss stations and received two books as they left the event. We are so thankful to the Burton-Barr Central Library for allowing us to host this fantastic event.”
Pi Beta Phi is helping put books into the hands of deserving children in partnership with First Book, a nonprofit providing new books to its national network of schools and programs.
Over the past several years, Pi Beta Phi has donated $1 million to literacy causes and given one million books to children in need. The goal now is to impact one million lives through its philanthropy Read > Lead > Achieve by the time Pi Beta Phi celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017.
“Our fraternity of more than 200,000 women is united in the cause to promote the importance of reading,” said Pi Beta Phi President Paula Shepherd.
“According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, one in four children grows up functionally illiterate, and we believe that is one too many. Pi Beta Phi is thrilled to participate in this book distribution because we believe reading transforms individuals, creates leaders and is the foundation of all that we can achieve in life.”
Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women was founded in 1867 at Monmouth College in Illinois. Pi Beta Phi promotes friendship, develops women of intellect and integrity, cultivates leadership potential and enriches the lives of members and their communities.
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