Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Literacy Grants Support Endeavors That Build and Otherwise Encourage the Knowledge

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Literacy Grants Support Endeavors That Build and Otherwise Encourage the Knowledge

Article excerpt

Literacy Grants support endeavors that build and otherwise encourage the knowledge, confidence, and related benefits that come from reading, math, science, and computers, among other fields. Twelve grants worth up to $2,500 apiece were awarded this year to Phi Kappa Phi chapters and members for ongoing projects or new initiatives that reinforce part of the Society's mission "to engage the community of scholars in service to others." Sixty-nine applicants entered in 2010, the same number as last year. Including 2010, more than 100 recipients have earned Literacy Grants totaling upwards of $200,000 since the program began in 2003.

Civic Engagement Teams

University of Arizona honors students mentor up to 72 youths in after-school activities emphasizing the intersection between technology and literacy. Hosted at two Pima County Public Library branches, one plan targets third through sixth graders who live in a subsidized housing complex and utilize library computers for fun but little else, while the other motivates teens from rough neighborhoods to develop multimedia skills. Funds underwrite digital cameras, for example, and photo-editing software. (Barbara Whittlesey, Lewis & Clark College)

Elon Academy Book Jam

Elon Academy is a year-round college-access program for 75 or so academically talented but underserved 10th-12th graders in Alamance County, N.C., with financial need and/or no family history of higher education. It used a 2009 Literacy Grant to start a monthly Book Jam. Elon University students, who primarily were Phi Kappa Phi members, facilitated group discussions and served as role models. The grant paid for books (fiction). A second grant this year does the same. (Darris Means, Elon University)

Family Reading Castle

Pre-K through first-grade kids, and their grownups, explore an eight-foot tall Family Reading Castle populated by Mother Goose et al. in this interactive experience at the free Arizona State University Museum. The site owns the tower and readied a computerized display of 10 nursery rhymes; the grant allows for setting the stage with, for instance, tuffets and a tent, puppets and dress-up costumes, props and scenery. The museum's website contains a rendition, too. The local Phi Kappa Phi chapter handles the media campaign. (Lenore Shoults, Arkansas State University)

GED Lending Library

Those studying for the General Education Diploma (GED) can use the GED Lending Library at the Augusta State University (ASU) Literacy Center. The educational levels of more than 65,000 adults in the area measure less than those of an average eighth grader, according to the center's website. Participants check out preparatory books and receive individual tutoring from undergraduate and graduate students, including ASU Phi Kappa Phi members. The goal: assist at least 95 people. (Paulette Harris, Augusta State University)

GED Preparation for Inmates

According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, 80 percent of Ohio inmates are high school dropouts; reading ability averages at a 7.5 grade level. The Phi Kappa Phi chapter at Youngstown State University (YSU) and United Purpose, YSU inmate students at Trumbull Correctional Institution in Leavittsburg, hope to improve these statistics. United Purpose members tutor fellow prisoners readying for the GED. The grant and YSU chapter provide supplies and advising. (Tammy King, chapter past president, Youngstown State University)

Healthy Bodies & Healthy Minds

Lock Haven University's Phi Kappa Phi chapter collaborates on the Ross Library Building Healthy Bodies & Healthy Minds program for children ages 4-9 and their families. …

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