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For the Love of Literacy

by Hannah Breaux | Sep 22, 2016

Phi Kappa Phi’s Literacy Grant Program was created in 2003 to mobilize members and chapters of Phi Kappa Phi to champion literacy initiatives near and far. The grants, of up to $2,500, help fund ongoing literacy projects and support the creation of new initiatives.

Read how some of the 2016 Literacy Grant recipients are making a difference across the globe: 

lit-3Born to Read
Mary Elizabeth Ambery, Ph.D.

Since 2001, when Born to Read was first launched, the Southeast Missouri State University chapter has been committed to providing a cherished Little Golden Book to every baby born in Cape Girardeau, Mo., local hospitals. As part of the program, local hospitals are provided with books to be given to parents as they leave with their newborn baby. Inside the book cover, a congratulatory note highlights the many benefits of reading with very young children and passing the love of learning from generation to generation. To date, Born to Read has given more than 30,000 books, and the first recipients are now teenagers!


lit-1Play Your Way to Higher Test Scores
Lisa Owens

Play Your Way to Higher Test Scores is a literacy project that aims to improve reading and critical thinking skills through the use of educational games that stress spelling and vocabulary. As part of the project, literacy kits are created with board games such as Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Scattergories, Balderdash, and chess and checkers. The kits are provided to approximately 200 students in grades 9-12 at Homer High School in Homer, La. Additionally, the school’s library has provided a dedicated space, the Literacy Learning Center, furnished with a comfortable seating area with game tables and storage for the literacy kits.


lit-2Literacy in Nicaraguan Impoverished Schools
Paulina Erices and Veronique Diriker

Working with La Merced, a volunteer-based nonprofit organization in the U.S., members from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Pennsylvania State University chapters have teamed up for a collaborative literacy effort. In its first phase, the project will evaluate and assess the needs of teachers and administration at a K-12 school in Managua, Nicaragua. After assessment, project leaders will acquire the necessary materials to provide teachers with equipment and support to meet the children’s needs.



lit-4Books: Candy for the Mind
Norbert Puszkar

Since 2003, the Austin Peay State University chapter has been involved with the safe Halloween trick-or-treating program, G.H.O.S.T. (Great Halloween Options for Safe Trick-or-Treating), held on the APSU campus. The project, Books: Candy for the Mind, is an early literacy initiative that provides books instead of candy to children in the community. As part of the project, chapter members solicit new or gently used children’s books and collect funds that can be used to purchase additional books. Whether the child is an avid reader or has never before owned a book, the APSU chapter aims to encourage a love of learning in the community with the gift of a book for every child.



Read more
about the Literacy Grants Program and see what other initiatives are being championed by this year’s recipients.


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