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2023 Literacy Grant Recipients

Phi Kappa Phi is proud to present the 2023 Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant recipients. 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.

Benjamin Conradt

Lead to Read KC Reading For Life Author Visit Program

The Lead to Read KC Reading For Life Author Visit Program supports the social-emotional learning of elementary students attending high-need schools in Kansas City. Medical experts have declared a national emergency in children's mental health, citing the serious toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on top of existing challenges. This program provides author visits to elementary school classrooms for interactive book read-alouds, plus book giveaways. Students learn mental health and wellness techniques that they can put into action immediately. Each child receives a new book during the author partner visit. The funds from the grant will provide 250 children with books that they can take home.

Kippie Hartcraft

Closing Literacy Skills Gaps with the Study Buddy

The Texarkana Adult Education and Literacy Program serves 350-400 students yearly who are working on a high school equivalency, improving basic skills in reading, language, and math for college or career entry, learning English as a second language, and upskilling in allied health or computers. To target low literacy levels in reading, language, and math, the program will purchase and use Study Buddy, a handheld learning tool sold through the Brainchild Company. These devices will allow for more targeted instruction and practice for lower literacy students in our differentiated classrooms.

Sarah Hogan

Add a Book!

Add a Book! will enhance the endeavors of the Jackson County Campaign for Grade Level Reading, facilitating the achievement of one of the organization's objectives: ensuring easier access to books. Every month, books are provided to children at the satellite Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) nutrition clinic by dedicated volunteers from Maquoketa First United Methodist Church, and this initiative aims to support them with a steady supply of books. Furthermore, the grant will empower the Campaign for GLR to sustain the Well Child Exam Book project in county medical clinics, where children receive a book during each of the nine scheduled Well Child Exams, complemented by age-specific reading strategy fliers for parents.

Lisa Jones-More

Mini Books to Guide Sixth Grade Novel Studies

Mini Books to Guide Seventh Grade Novel Studies is an opportunity to purchase class sets of adolescent novels for Lumpkin County Middle School seventh-grade classes and to create a mini book with accompanying comprehension strategies for each seventh-grade student. The grant provides an opportunity for students at the University of North Georgia to create literacy strategies and teach both seventh-graders and their teachers how to use the mini book and enhance comprehension.

Kristen Livingston

Joplin NALA Read Student Success and Retention Program

The Joplin NALA Read Student Success and Retention Program is part of a multi-subject adult literacy action in Southwest Missouri. This Joplin based organization is expanding service to Southeast Kansas to serve adults who cannot afford transportation to classes and tutoring at the Joplin facility. In partnership with Joplin NALA Read, Phi Kappa Phi members will undergo training, and be provided with curriculum, supplies, and support to serve adult learners in Crawford County, Kansas. The aim of this project is to provide tuition-free tutoring and classes to adult learners, equipping them and their families to achieve self-sufficiency.

Jennifer Mann

Refugees Pursuing Education And Community Excellence

Currently only 6% of students from refugee backgrounds attend college, yet many more dream of attending. Refugees Pursuing Education And Community Excellence (R_PEACE) seeks to address the equity issue of college access, which adversely impacts many refugee-background students. The students in R_PEACE created content using a critical literacy perspective, which looks at power and privilege and crafts a course of action with the intent of increasing equity through reading, writing, and speaking. R_PEACE seeks to help increase refugee youths’ college-going by sharing their own counter-stories as refugees who successfully gained entry into college despite difficulties and by sharing and distributing information via three avenues: live speaking events at non-profit organizations and in high schools, a multilingual brochure, and through Instagram.

Tracee Matthias

B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Book Club

The B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Book Club aims to promote a life-long love of reading in a fun and engaging environment by choosing books that provide reluctant readers with the opportunity to think, reflect, and share. The books chosen for the club include characters that celebrate diversity and supplement in-school experiences where the stories of people of color are often misrepresented or excluded from the classroom curriculum. These books introduce readers to new vocabulary words, customs, people, and places that they otherwise might not have learned about.

Meredith McKay

Families Read Aloud

The Families Read Aloud initiative partners with Prevent Child Abuse Cherokee at The Children’s Haven to provide English, Spanish and Bilingual early learning books for at-risk families in Cherokee County, Georgia. The goal of the initiative is to encourage literacy and bring families together through reading books aloud.

Tiffany Parsons

Family Literacy

Impact West GA's Family Literacy programming provides an opportunity for families in the region to improve their reading skills, develop a love of reading, and access appropriate age/skill-level literature. The Family Literacy projects include a kid's little free library, family story parties where characters from the books they've read come alive, Cool Kids' Club and adult literacy classes. This year programming will begin to include family book clubs where adult and children family members can read a chosen book together at home and then come together to discuss with other families who are reading the same book guided by a literacy expert.

Bethanie Pletcher

Islanders Helping the Early Acceleration of Readers Together (iHeart) Part 2:  From Sustainment to Expansion

Islanders Helping the Early Acceleration of Readers Together (IHEART) is a tutoring program designed to meet a twofold mission: provide reading intervention to first-grade children who have difficulties with print and give preservice teachers authentic field-based teaching opportunities. Each semester, the reading education faculty members recruit university students who are seeking teacher certification and who have taken at least one course in early reading instruction. The tutors work with the same group for ten weeks, thirty minutes twice per week. The lesson plan includes high frequency word work, letter identification, continuous text reading, phonological and phonemic awareness, and phonics. Through guidance and coaching, the tutors become effective in selecting and implementing appropriate literacy strategies.

William Porter

Music Workshops in Addis Ababa Juvenile Detention Center, Ethiopia

The Music Workshops in Juvenile Detention Centers contribute to social justice through music literacy. These workshops engage court-involved youth in detention centers and youth shelters through musical improvisation workshops and learning to play trumpets and trombones. Participants create an ensemble and learn to improvise simple jazz melodies together, then use their newly learned skills to explore and create music of their own choosing, encouraging creative thinking and cross-cultural exchange. Initially started in Madison, WI, this project expanded to include projects in Champaign, Illinois, and now Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As the project has expanded, so has the scope of subjects taught, including collaborations with artists and health professionals, both domestic and international, creating opportunities to weave more diverse learning experiences into music workshops.

Liberatus J. Rwebugisa

Project RISE: Rising Incomes for Socioeconomic Empowerment

Project RISE: Rising Incomes for Socioeconomic Empowerment is an intensive community empowerment initiative that uses the VSLA and Credit with Education capacity-building models to organize and empower individuals and families to learn, collaborate, build assets, and create self-employments with the purpose of ending extreme poverty and improving their lives and wellbeing. Through weekly training visits, Project RISE provides financial literacy and entrepreneurship training on money management, savings strategies, budgeting, investing, borrowing, loan repayment, psychological empowerment, and sustainable agriculture. The 2023 Literacy Grant will support the ongoing Project RISE Educational efforts by providing credit in the form of much-needed small revolving loans to augment their small savings and strengthen their capital base to borrow and invest in small-income-generating activities.