Literacy Grants

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The Literacy Grants program was initiated to mobilize members and resources of Phi Kappa Phi and the higher education community to champion literacy initiatives. Grants of up to $2,500 are available to Phi Kappa Phi chapters and individual members to fund ongoing literacy projects or to create new initiatives. The Society's commitment to the cause of literacy grows out of and is consistent with its mission, which was expanded to include "…and to engage the community of scholars in service to others."

Phi Kappa Phi is proud to present the 2014 Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant recipients:

John Blake
Austin Peay State University

Candy for the Mind

Candy for the Mind, which takes place during the Austin Peay State University G.H.O.S.T. (Great Halloween Options for Safe Trick-or-Treating) event, gives more than 2,000 books to trick-or-treaters as an alternative to candy. As a treat, the books serve to inspire children to read and develop a love of learning. As part of the event, the APSU chapter collects new and gently used books on campus and in the local community through book drives. In addition, books are purchased to be given as treats at the popular Halloween event, which has been hosted for 11 consecutive years. 

Kristen Bortner
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Latin for Literacy

During the 2014-2015 school year, Collinsville High School Latin Club students will write two original picture books that aim to educate children about the culture and language of Ancient Rome through a compelling narrative about Stella, an Ancient Roman girl. The books will be written in English, but the characters will frequently use Latin vocabulary words to help build a foundation for recognizing Latin derivatives in English vocabulary. Traditional print versions of the books will be donated to the schools and libraries, and free e-book versions will be distributed to families. 

Dr. Candace H. Hendershot
The University of Findlay

Multigenerational Literacy Education

Creating opportunities for children and elder adults to form relationships and engage in conversations and activities is an excellent method to support literacy education from cradle to grave. Through this literacy program, children and elders will learn to work together on literacy skills to live fuller, independent, healthier lives. The program will develop a setting that teaches children to appreciate books through reading, supports seniors in reading to the children, fosters constructive intergenerational relationships, and provides The University of Findlay students with hands-on experience and learning of how intergenerational interactions affect dimensions of wellness. 

Race Hodges
University of New Orleans

Preparing for Storms in New Orleans

The University of New Orleans Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (UNO-CHART) partners with literacy organizations to create a unique storm preparedness curriculum for adult learners. This curriculum, written in plain language and accompanied by a heavy graphic design component, allows adults with low-level English language abilities to improve language skills while simultaneously learning how to prepare for storms. The materials are provided free of charge to non-profit organizations that teach Adult Basic Education, Adult Primary Education, or English as a Second Language. 

Ancilla Inocencio
University of the Philippines 

Akap Aklat: The Daanbantayan Library Rebuilding Project

Akap Aklat is a library-rebuilding project for primary schools affected by the November 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the municipality of Daanbantayan, Philippines. Nearly 90 percent of houses and infrastructure were damaged as a result of the typhoon. As part of the project, the local government of Daanbantayan and the University of the Philippines chapter are working together to renovate libraries at four affected schools. The renovations include repairs to roofs, walls, and floors. In addition, new bookshelves, chairs, and tables will be installed. To complete the project, books collected during a year-long book drive will be donated to the libraries. 

Dr. Marilyn Kaff
Kansas State University


In an effort to address one of the most basic impediments to literacy in Tanzania—books in the home—faculty and students from the Kansas State University College of Education developed the Books-in-a-Bag program. The program specifically targets families with children with disabilities, a group least likely to receive any formal education. Through provided training, parents are encouraged to explore books and bond with their children through reading. Additionally, families receive illustrated books based on local tales, written in Kiswahili and English, to which children can easily relate. MP3s of the stories also are distributed to promote literacy among families without literate members.

Dr. Hazel Katz
Brenau University

Improving Higher Order Literacy Skills through Reading and Writing

This project provides high-interest content area literacy activities that allow first-grade students to learn a variety of reading and writing skills. Using the skills learned, the students will research, write and illustrate their own book, participate in a video interview, and promote and sign their book at an “Author of the Day” event. The project aims to increase achievement in all areas of literacy including reading, writing, listening, speaking, critical thinking, and creative expressions. Students will engage their higher order thinking and improve speaking and listening skills through the workshops provided.

Nancy Knowles
Eastern Oregon University

Write Now

The Oregon Writing Project at Eastern Oregon University uses Write Now youth programs in rural central and eastern Oregon to encourage children's self-esteem, provide young people with incentives to stay connected with academics, and build healthy relationships between youth and adults. Activities that comprise the program include the Student Writers’ Workshop—a Saturday youth writing conference in La Grande serving 150 youth, a partnership with visually-stunning online teen literary magazine Torches n’ Pitchforks in Crook County, and a partnership with Wallowa County’s Building Healthy Families, which aims to continue to infuse writing activities into afterschool programs that reach more than 70 children across three school districts four days a week.

Johanne I. Laboy
North Carolina State University

Literacy Bonanza

Students from the North Carolina State University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi will team with the non-profit organization El Centro Hispano to teach program participants how to utilize tablets for educational purposes. The tablets will be used to enhance reading and writing literacy, health literacy, and digital literacy—“a Literacy Bonanza.” In the Adult Education program, for example, students will be given a vocabulary assignment that will require participants to conduct online searches and write an essay using Microsoft Word. To encourage health literacy, participants will use the tablets and Microsoft Excel to monitor diets as part of the diabetes prevention and management class.

Kurt R. Moore
Elon University

It Takes a Village

The It Takes a Village project uses a collaborative approach to help children in the community who are struggling to read. The project provides strategic, one-on-one tutoring to meet the needs of readers in kindergarten through eighth grade. Each semester, Elon University students majoring in education are paired with 90 young readers and their parents for weekly after-school tutoring sessions in downtown Burlington at May Memorial Library. The project also addresses the need for books in impoverished households. Students, who successfully complete their semester of tutoring, go with their tutor to buy books that meet their reading needs and interests.

Jamie Eric Teeple
The Ohio State University

The Phi Kappa Phi Story Sharing Project

Between July 2014 and June 2015, members of The Ohio State University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi will manage “The Phi Kappa Phi Story Sharing Project,” a collaborative literacy initiative modeled after the laudable “Literacy Read!” program created by the University of Toledo chapter and West Toledo Kiwanis Circle K. The project will allow OSU chapter members to purchase, personalize, share, and donate quality children’s books to students of a local Head Start program in Franklin County, Ohio. Additionally, the chapter will purchase a one-year subscription to the Junior Library Guild to be donated to the selected Head Start program.

Terry Smith
University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Just One Book

The Just One Book project will complement a 2014-2015 initiative at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to encourage all students to read at least one book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  The book brings relevant scientific, historical, cultural, and current events to students at the Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Student members of the Phi Kappa Phi chapter will provide free copies of the book and sponsor an essay contest with the winners presenting their essays during a symposium. The goal of the Just One Book project is to encourage students, through the exploration and enjoyment of just one book, to embrace literacy.

Dr. Erica Vernold Miller
California State University, Sacramento

Multicultural Books in Early Childhood Students’ Hands

Through sharing of high-quality multicultural literacy resources, this project aims to strengthen the partnership between Cazenovia College's Inclusive Early Childhood Education Program and Cazenovia Community Preschool. Faculty will teach students studying in the education program how to integrate multicultural literature into their instruction through training and real life experience in curriculum design and implementation. In addition, the students will fill multicultural-themed backpacks with books and literacy activities to be donated to the preschool. Faculty and students from the college will train the preschool staff with techniques for integrating the backpacks into their instruction. 

Mary Katherine Waibel Duncan
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Handmade Literacy for Our Hometown 

Working in partnership with Bloomsburg University's toy lending library, faculty and students from the university’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi will educate elementary and middle school-aged children about the needs of the community and engage the children in literacy-based service projects. The literacy projects will include fashioning inspirational banners to adorn the rooms of residents at assisted living facilities and nursing homes, handcrafting cards for displaced children and their families residing at local hospitality houses and creating informational posters to share the stories of animals awaiting adoption at local shelters.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi