On February 24 and 25, several of our chapter members turned out to support a book giveaway organized by our friends at Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women.
Pi Beta Phi’s Lake Oswego-Dunthorpe and Portland alumnae clubs collaborated with their national organization and First Book to bring a 20,000 children’s books to Portland. The book give-away on February 25, which was hosted by PNCA, marked the group’s annual Fraternity Day of Service and was one of five similar signature events held around the country. (You read that right: 100,000 books.)
Everyone already registered as part of the First Book network was invited to participate in the event. We saw some familiar faces from Latino Network, Albina Head Start, West Women’s and Children’s Center, MHCC Early Head Start, and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center.
Other local educators from Title I-eligible schools and leaders of community programs where at least 70% of the students come from low-income families were able to register and attend as well.
After the event was over, something like 3,000 books went home with us for distribution to our recipient groups. We rarely get to handle books directly, since our groups typically select their own titles from the First Book Marketplace, so we jumped at the chance to do a little book distribution ourselves.
We will be able to fulfill a few special requests, such as Albina Head Start’s desire to provide book gifts to 200 kids aging out of their Early Head Start program—a treat for these children and their parents to read together before moving up to Head Start.
This special windfall will also allow us to offer books to groups whose official requests we were unable to fund in 2016. We are never able to meet the full need for our local literacy programs, so every book (and every dollar) extends our reach in very tangible ways.
Huge thanks to our local Pi Beta Phis! They have been wonderful partners for our chapter for several years, and we look forward to many more years of supporting children’s literacy together.