Beyond Books: Supporting Literacy and Learning

Sep 18, 2018

The very definition of literacy, in addition to the ability to read and write, is competence or knowledge in a specified area. Established in 2003, Phi Kappa Phi’s Literacy Grants Program was created as a way to help members and chapters champion initiatives that recognize the many facets of literacy. The grants, of up to $2,500, help fund projects ranging from traditional reading initiatives to those fostering learning in cultural, digital, financial, health, historical literacy and beyond.

In honor of National Literacy Month, read how some of the 2018 Literacy Grant recipients are making a difference:

LiteracyMonth_Candy for the MindCandy for the Mind
Christophe Konkobo 

Since 2003, Austin Peay State University’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter been involved with the safe Halloween trick-or-treating program, G.H.O.S.T. (Great Halloween Options for Safe Trick-or-Treating), sponsored by the Student Government Association and held on campus. Chapter 191’s contribution to the event is Candy for the Mind. Begun by Dr. Linda Thompson, a Past Chapter President, the early literacy initiative provides books instead of candy to children. Chapter members solicit new or gently used children’s books, or collect funds that can be used to purchase them. Thompson envisioned that the drive could be the catalyst that stimulates a love of reading in children, introducing them to the magic and wonder of books.

LiteracyMonth_BYULiteracyProjectMy Story Matters
Benjamin Jacob

The Brigham Young University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi will partner with Refugee Action Network and My Story Matters, community-based, nonprofit organizations, to promote literacy for refugees and immigrants within the community. The project will provide supplies to aid in English as a Second Language classes, as well as publish the unique life stories of the families. Phi Kappa Phi volunteers will interview families and assist with the writing, formatting, and photography for the stories. Once the books are published, members will deliver the books and help the children read them. The books also will be available online for families and others to access. 

LitMonth_BorntoReadBorn to Read
Mary Elizabeth Ambery

Since 2001, when Born to read was first launched, the Southeast Missouri State University chapter has been committed to providing a cherished book to every baby born in Cape Girardeau, Mo., local hospitals. In 2017, the project expanded to add the Perryville, Mo., area. As part of the program, local hospitals are provided with books to be given to parents as they leave with their newborn baby. Chapter members prepare and deliver the books which include a congratulatory note from Phi Kappa Phi that stresses the importance of reading to babies. Born to Read now reaches more than 3,000 babies and their families each year.  

To join us in celebrating National Literacy Month, read more about the Literacy Grants Program and share ideas in the Literacy Initiatives conversation on Link.