The Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women is giving kids in Detroit area schools a chance – a chance to read.
In February 2107, Pi Phi alumnae and collegians will distribute 20,000 new books to area schools, after-school programs and community programs serving students from low-income families and Title I schools. It’s all part of the organization’s annual Fraternity Day of Service Signature Event, celebrated in honor of Dr. Seuss’® birthday.
“Our Fraternity 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.”
The books will be distributed at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Kresge Eye Institute located at 4707 St Antoine St.
“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,” says the fraternity.
Pi Beta Phi says Detroit was chosen for two reasons. Nearly 60 percent of children live in poverty, a dramatic increase from 2006, which reported 34 percent of children living in poverty. Only 27 percent of Detroit fourth graders test at or above basic grade level in reading.
The organization is distributing the books in partnership with First Book®, a nonprofit that provides new books to its national network of schools and programs.
Please check out this video to see how much reading can change the life of child.
Besides Detroit, the fraternity will also provide 20,000 books to schools in Dallas, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Hartford, Connecticut and Washington, D.C.
Over the past several years, Pi Beta Phi has donated $1 million to literacy causes and given one million books to children in need. Its goal is to impact one million lives through its philanthropy Read > Lead > Achieve® by the time Pi Beta Phi celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017. Read > Lead > Achieve® is Pi Beta Phi’s philanthropic effort, which inspires a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential creating a more literate and productive society.
Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women was founded in 1867 at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill. It has 204 collegiate chapters and nearly 300 alumnae organizations worldwide. For more information, visit https://www.pibetaphi.org/pibetaphi/ or follow Pi Phi on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.