The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi


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Literacy Grants

The Literacy Grants program was initiated to mobilize members and resources of Phi Kappa Phi and the higher education community to champion literacy initiatives. 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. The Society's commitment to the cause of literacy grows out of and is consistent with its mission, which was expanded to include "…and to engage the community of scholars in service to others."

2013 Literacy Grant Winners

Mary Elizabeth Ambery, Southeast Missouri State University

Born to Read
The Born to Read project provides a new book to every baby born in the Cape Girardeau, Mo., area each year. Personnel from local hospitals give parents a Little Golden Book upon leaving with their newborn baby. Each book contains a Society stamp and letter that explains the importance of reading and how to make it an essential part of family life. Through the letter, parents are encouraged to continuously read the book to their child in order to cultivate a love of reading and learning.

Kristen Bortner, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Latin for Literacy
During the 2013-2014 school year, Collinsville High School Latin Club students will write two original picture books that will educate children about the culture and language of ancient Rome through a compelling narrative. The books will be written in English, but the characters will frequently use Latin vocabulary words to help build a foundation for recognizing Latin derivatives in English vocabulary. In addition to traditional printed books, e-book versions will be distributed to the families and read-alouds will be performed at local elementary schools, libraries and day cares.

Kathleen Brown, North Carolina State University

Read to L.E.A.D.
The Read to L.E.A.D. project, coordinated by North Carolina State University’s Women's Center, is a relationship-based program that seeks to provide literacy development and intentional conversations about gender, race/ethnicity, class and ability. Volunteers and children read books related to these topics while engaging in purposeful discussions and the practice of reading and writing skills. The program also provides an innovative approach to literacy through the use of technology, interactive drawing tools, podcasts and blogging.

Cynthia Elliott, Southeastern Louisiana University

Imagination Library Project
As part of this early literacy initiative, children living in Louisiana’s Tangipahoa Parish will receive a new, age-appropriate book in the mail each month. The program—which lasts from birth until the child turns five—encourages parents to read with their children during the preschool years and aims to foster a love of reading. The books are delivered to Tangipahoa Parish families with eligible children regardless of family income.

Debra Jo Gifford Hailey, Louisiana State University

Reading on the River
The setting for the annual Saturday of literacy-filled activities known as “Reading on the River” is the downtown riverfront in historic Natchitoches, La. Here, learning activities are provided under 10 different canopies that parents and children are invited to rotate through during the day. Teachers and other professionals use developmentally-appropriate teaching methods to engage children and their parents in early literacy activities that entertain and educate. Before leaving, children choose an age-appropriate book to take home with them.

Paulette P. Harris, Georgia Regents University

Making Sense to Dollars: Financial Literacy
The Making Sense to Dollars project is an initiative between the Georgia Regents University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi and the university’s Literacy Center that promotes and encourages financial literacy. The program aims to educate and train participants seeking a General Education Development diploma (GED) to make financially responsible decisions through tutoring and resources related to math instruction, skills practice and actual financial literacy simulations.

Michael Hu, Syracuse University

Learn To Be
Learn To Be at Syracuse University is a student-run 501(c)(203) public charity that offers free online tutoring and academic resources to K–12 Syracuse City School District students. Through the use of technology, Learn To Be connects tutors and students with a virtual whiteboard classroom. The services provided consist of interactive one-on-one tutoring outside of school hours, personalized mentoring, access to recorded sessions and a virtual content library that includes class material facilitated with teachers.

Peter Larlham, San Diego State University

Tanzania Literacy Project
The Tanzania Literacy Project is a multi-phased initiative that continues to expand its efforts each year in the small town of Kongwa, Tanzania. As part of the literacy grant, the San Diego State University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi will purchase textbooks in Swahili for the Mnyakongo Primary School. The project aims to have a textbook in front of each child in the classroom to bring the subject alive, encourage reading and promote the use of the school library, which was built and filled with the aid of Phi Kappa Phi.

Donna McAleer, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Rebel Reading Room
Volunteers from the University of Nevada Las Vegas chapter of Phi Kappa Phi are working with the school librarian at Dean Petersen Professional Development School for the incentive-based program, Rebel Reading Room. The program rewards hard-working students who exhibit the school’s “Pillar of Character” traits: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, citizenship, fairness, and caring. Members of the Rebel Reading Room receive their own book, enjoy stories read aloud by Phi Kappa Phi student volunteers, and have an “environmentally ‘poppin’ space they can explore, read, dream, wonder, and fall in love with learning and literature,” says librarian James Bowen.

Mary Moeller, South Dakota State University

How to Eat a Book
The How to Eat a Book literacy project promotes character and leadership, healthy lifestyles and academic success through a partnership with the Brookings Boys and Girls Club. As part of the project, South Dakota State University service-learning tutors will provide literacy resources including a set of books and hands-on educational activities to elementary students in the Club 5 program at the Boys and Girls Club. In addition, the students will tour the university’s Wellness Center to learn about healthy lifestyles and experience the higher education atmosphere of a college campus.

Conway F. Saylor, The Citadel

Young Authors: Telling our Stories Past, Present, and Future
The Young Authors Program engages college undergraduates in mentoring older elementary students in Title I and low-achieving partner schools through an 8-10 week journey of “telling their story” – past, present, and future. The program engages students in a process of research, oral and written communication, and integrated arts and music, which allows them to reflect on their past, identify present strengths and interests, and envision and prepare for a successful future.

Sebastian Sky Hanul Choi, Florida International University

Project Riyen
Project Riyen is a literacy initiative focused on providing educational resources and improved access to quality education in Siam Reap, Cambodia. The project provides school supplies to elementary schools in rural areas throughout the year. In addition, tailored laptops are provided to the top graduates of the Siem Reap Provincial Teachers College to be used throughout their villages as a way to enhance educational opportunities and learning with the laptop’s pre-loaded educational content and software and Internet access.

Jamie Eric Teeple, University of Toledo

Literacy Read!
Volunteers from the University of Toledo chapter, in close conjunction with volunteers from the West Toledo Kiwanis Club, will purchase books to be personalized, donated and read to deserving children at the Bennett Road Toledo Head Start Program and West Toledo YMCA Preschool. The goal of Literacy Read! is to not only promote literacy, but also foster friendship and cultivate children's holistic growth and social development.

Kathleen C. Tice, The University of Texas at Arlington

Open Door Preschool Project:
Bringing Books to English Language Learners

As part of a service learning project, students at the University of Texas at Arlington read aloud weekly to children who attend the Open Door Preschool that serves low-income English language learners. The project takes place during two semesters and includes a family literacy event where each child is given a tote bag that holds the books that were read aloud. The books contain Phi Kappa Phi book plates, and classroom teachers will continue reading aloud from a classroom set of the books.



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    April 1, 2014 @ 11:59 p.m. CT


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