This past weekend, Pi Beta Phi® Fraternity for Women hosted a literacy carnival and distributed 20,000 new books to area schools, after-school programs and community programs serving students from low-income families through its annual Fraternity Day of Service. For many of the students, these are the first new books they will ever own, and they will lay the foundation for a lifelong love of reading.
The literacy carnival and book distribution took place in honor of Pi Beta Phi’s Fraternity Day of Service, an annual event bringing Pi Phis together to serve their communities through literacy service. The carnival was held at the Neighborhood House of Milwaukee on March 2, and the distribution was the following day at a Coakley Brothers’ Warehouse. Pi Phis helped facilitate children’s activities and worked with recipient groups to choose new books for their students. Children were given the opportunity to meet a few of their favorite book characters and participate in fun projects. All of the children who attended also took home a tote bag and two new books. Access to new, age-appropriate books helps change these children’s lives.
“We are honored to be a part of an impactful event like the Pi Beta Phi Day of Service,” said Shelley Stewart, co-chair of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity Day of Service — Milwaukee Signature Event. “Our organization strives to support improving literacy rates for future generations, and an event like this provides the opportunity for many children to receive a new book that we hope will further ignite a lifelong love for reading,”
“We know literacy rates have a direct correlation to further success in academia and in life. We hope our efforts will have a positive impact in the Milwaukee community,” added co-chair Deb Scarlett.
Last week –– in total –– Pi Beta Phi donated 105,000 to five different communities. Pi Beta Phi is helping put books into the hands of these deserving children in partnership with First Book®, a nonprofit providing new books to its national network of schools and programs. Over the past several years, Pi Beta Phi has donated well over $1 million to literacy causes through The Literacy Fund at Pi Beta Phi Foundation, given more than one million books to children in need and impacted over one million lives through its philanthropy Read > Lead > Achieve®.
“Our Fraternity of more than 300,000 women 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.”