(May 16, 2015) — The Nu Zeta Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, part of the College of Education at Armstrong State University, recently handed out more than 2,000 books to Sarah Mills Hodge Elementary School students in Savannah in connection with Literacy Alive! This service initiative invites members to create programs and events in their communities that bring empowering literacy skills to area students.
“The Literacy Alive project puts books into the hands of children who might not have them at home,” says Glenda L. Ogletree, an associate professor of Education at Armstrong who serves as one of the event’s organizers. “It encourages children to read and promotes lifelong learning.”
During a recent reading celebration, students from Hodge Elementary’s pre-K through fifth grade classes broke into small groups, rotating through various arts and crafts stations.
Students also enjoyed a session with author Joan Kornblatt, who presented her illustrated photo book, I See Colors, written in both Creole and English. Helping to change the lives of children living in poverty in Haiti, her pictures and words helped to inspire the students in attendance to be all that they can be, to read and write daily and to think of ways they can help others. Afterwards, the students were given bags donated by Kroger and allowed to fill them with books of their choice.
Through Kappa Delta Pi’s 40,000 members nationwide, nearly 41,000 books were collected for distribution in the 2013-14 academic year, which served nearly 50,000 individuals. Notably, Armstrong’s Nu Zeta chapter was named one of the top three clubs in the nation for its outreach that same year.
In 2015, the Armstrong affiliate will also donate two new bookshelves outfitted with 100 books to Gabriel's House Ranch Foster Care in Hinesville, Ga., and will purchase a complete set of fifth-grade class books for Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School in Bryan County. In addition, the chapter coordinates efforts with Liberty County’s Backpack Buddies program, which sends at-risk children home on Fridays with two nutritious meals and healthy snacks, by adding two books to the weekend mix.
“These initiatives put us in the community,” notes Ogletree, “but they also let the kids know that there are educators who care about them.”
Annual activities for the national Literacy Alive program range from book drives to specialty projects with disadvantaged children and victims of natural disaster.