Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Young Students Inspired by Book Program

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Young Students Inspired by Book Program

Article excerpt

The Phi Kappa Phi Chapter at Lock Haven University brought all fourth grade students from a local elementary school to Borders book store to select books for their school's library. Kathy Richards, chapter president and literacy project director, chose her literacy project with one idea in mind: she wanted to encourage students at Jackson Elementary School to read more.


I WORK IN THE ELEMENTARY EDUCATION DEPARTMENT of the University," she says. "I understand the importance of teaching the joy of reading to young children."

Richards says the results from her Literacy Award program were amazing and are having a lasting impact.

"You can't imagine what it's like to take 100 students of low socio-economic status, many of whom have never been in a big book store, let alone been given money to spend on what they love, and see the joy on their faces," Richards said following the field trip. "In fact, I recently saw the librarian from Jackson Elementary School. She told me 'our' books are getting a 'major workout' during summer school. She's thrilled!"

Richard says she also has seen a number of the fourth-graders who benefited from her literacy program over the summer as she's run errands. "When they see me they say, 'you're the lady who bought us books!'"

Not only did the students at Jackson Elementary Schools benefit from the program, Richard says. Her Phi Kappa Phi students also were touched.

"Another wonderful result of the Jackson Elementary project was the boost it gave to student teaching placements," she said. "The Phi Kappa Phi students who went had such an incredible experience, they asked to be placed at that school for student teaching.

"The fourth grade teachers agreed to the arrangement. It truly has been a wonderful experience for all of us."

More than 300 books were selected by the fourth graders and purchased using funds from Richards' Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant. Each book then was placed in the school's library with a Phi Kappa Phi book plate and the signature of the student who picked it. "There will always be a book in the library that has their name on it, giving them a piece of ownership in the library collection," Richards said.

Bright From the Start

* BOBBI URBAN (Minnesota State University) Mankato Preschool through 7th grade-level students from a local school serving many underprivileged students will be given a reading kit with highly engaging books that have a Phi Kappa Phi book plate in each. Kits will include a reading guide for students and parents that explains the importance of regular reading and how to foster a love of reading. Matching funds will be used to purchase new and interactive books for the school's outdated library to create excitement about reading. Students will also be challenged to read and then recognized with a certificate for their achievement. Phi Kappa Phi students will help develop the reading guide and assemble kits. Press kits also will be distributed to recognize the program and Phi Kappa Phi.

Rock-n-Read Program

* MARY PAGLIERO (University of West Alabama) Phi Kappa Phi Chapter 276 will partner with UWA Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) to promote early literacy. Funds will be used to purchase baby board books, into which will be placed literacy pamphlets and a letter prepared by students of both organizations emphasizing the importance of reading to children from cradle to Kindergarten. The books will be distributed by Care Coordinators of the HealthStart Maternity Care program (a Medicaid agency program) to mothers-to-be in the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority service area.

Supporting Literacy: Project Success and Family Literacy

* MICHAEL O'CONNER (Millikin University) Phi Kappa Phi will support a voluntary after-school tutoring program at one of the local elementary schools and will help expand that program to serve families of the students. …

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