2020 Local Impact Grant Recipients

Through Pi Beta Phi Foundation’s Local Impact Grants program, Pi Phis can strengthen the future of their communities by supporting literacy programs close to home. As Pi Phi chapters and alumnae clubs fundraise for The Literacy Fund, the Local Impact Grants program allows them to nominate 25% of their gifts to a nonprofit organization with a mission or special program focused on literacy. Our Foundation then matches that 25%, dollar for dollar.  

During the 2020 calendar year, our Foundation awarded $53,583.36 in Local Impact Grants to 31 organizations nominated by Pi Phi chapters and clubs. While the total amount awarded is lower than previous years, the decrease reflects the fundraising challenges our chapters and clubs experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the program’s launch in 2013, Pi Phis have provided a total of $684,102.58 in Local Impact Grants to organizations across North America. 

“The Local Impact Grants program was specifically created to help our members support Pi Phi’s literacy work and literacy-focused organizations within their local communities,” says Pi Beta Phi Foundation Director of Operations and Programs Betsy West McCune, Missouri Alpha. “By nominating local organizations to receive grants, our members are growing and expanding Pi Phi’s impact in innovative ways.” 

The Chicago Literacy Alliance (CLA), a collective of more than 100 organizations advancing literacy within the Chicago community, received a Local Impact Grant through a nomination from the Illinois Kappa Chapter at the University of Chicago. Assistant Director of Development Julie Lanham says the funds from the grant will directly support CLA’s programs and member initiative, including the alliance’s new Literacy Equity Initiative. “Our Chicago Community Confabs create opportunities for authentic connection and a deeper understanding between CLA members and communities facing barriers to literacy resources,” she says. “As a follow-up to Chicago Community Confabs, the CLA is hosting virtual Action Group sessions. These Action Groups are an opportunity for Alliance members and Community members to dive deep into discussion and action planning that address identified needs through collaborative community-centered design.” 

The Sandhills, North Carolina, Alumnae Club nominated the Northern Moore Family Resource Center (NMRFC) in nearby Robbins, North Carolina, to receive a Local Impact Grant. Texas Beta Clare Varn Ruggles is a member of the Sandhills club and has served as Director of the NMFRC for 15 years. She is grateful for the support her organization has received from our Foundation in recent years, including Local Impact Grants and FDS500 grants. Support from our Foundation even helped open NMFRC’s preschool. “Northern Moore County is largely rural and poor, with a significant Spanish-speaking population,” Clare says. “We needed to increase access to early childhood learning in the area, and the grant we received from the Foundation got our school off the ground.” 

Thank you to the Pi Beta Phi alumnae clubs and chapters that nominated organizations to receive Local Impact Grants — and congratulations to the grant recipients! To learn more about the ways Pi Beta Phi Foundation supports Pi Phi’s commitment to literacy, visit pibetaphi.org/foundation

2020 Local Impact Grant Recipients

Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation 
Nominated by the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Alumnae Club 
Team First Book 
Team First Book – Monroe County 
Nominated by the Bloomington, Indiana, Alumnae Club 
Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County 
Nominated by the Boca Raton, Florida, Alumnae Club 
The Catherine McAuley Center 
Nominated by the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Alumnae Club 
Reach Out and Read Kansas City  
Reach Out and Read Kansas City (Kansas University Endowment Association) 
Nominated by the Greater Kansas City Alumnae Club 
The Children's Book Bank 
Nominated by the Lake Oswego-Dunthorpe, Oregon, Alumnae Club 
Friends of the Lawrence Public Library Inc. 
Nominated by the Lawrence, Kansas, Alumnae Club  
Lawrence Library Foundation 
Nominated by the Lawrence, Kansas, Alumnae Club  
St. Tammany Library Foundation 
Nominated by the Louisiana Northshore Alumnae Club 
The Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools 
Nominated by the Northern Virginia Alumnae Club 
Freedom School Oklahoma City, Inc 
Nominated by the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Alumnae Club 
Kids Need to Read 
Nominated by the Phoenix, Arizona, Alumnae Club 
The Richardson ISD Foundation 
Nominated by the Richardson-Plano, Texas, Alumnae Club  
The Elizabeth Kates Foundation 
Nominated by the Richmond, Virginia, Alumnae Club  
Nominated by the San Jose, California, Alumnae Club 
Access Books Bay Area 
Nominated by the San Jose, California, Alumnae Club 
Hope Academy Preschool (Northern Moore Family Resource Center) 
Northern Moore Family Resource Center 
Nominated by the Sandhills, North Carolina, Alumnae Club  
Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County 
Nominated by the Sarasota Manatee, Florida, Alumnae Club 
Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program (Page Ahead Seattle) 
Nominated by the Seattle, Washington, Alumnae Club  
Operation School Bell - Book of My Own (Assistance League San Pedro-South Bay) 
Nominated by the South Bay, California, Alumnae Club  
South Bay Literacy Council 
Nominated by the South Bay, California, Alumnae Club  
The Little Bit Foundation 
Nominated by the St. Louis, Missouri, Alumnae Club 
Literacy Connects 
Nominated by the Tucson, Arizona, Alumnae Club 
Literacy Connects 
Nominated by the Arizona Alpha Chapter 
Chicago Literacy Alliance 
Nominated by the Illinois Kappa Chapter 
Read to Lead (Martin Luther King Center Indianapolis) 
Nominated by the Indiana Gamma Chapter 
Hilltop Neighborhood House 
Nominated by the Indiana Theta Chapter 
Schools of Hope (Flint Hills Volunteer Center) 
Nominated by the Kansas Beta Chapter 
Winbourne Elementary School (Volunteers in Public Schools, East Baton Rouge) 
Nominated by the Louisiana Beta Chapter 
Volunteers in Public Schools 
Nominated by the Louisiana Beta Chapter 
Boys and Girls Club of Brazos County 
Nominated by the Texas Eta Chapter 

Published March 21, 2021