Champions are Readers

Champions are Readers® (CAR) is Pi Beta Phi’s unique reading enrichment program for students in pre-kindergarten through third grade. Since its launch in 2003, thousands of students across the United States and Canada have participated in the program. Designed to create an interactive reading and mentoring relationship between Pi Phis and children from their local communities, CAR engages children in a positive reading experience and allows participants to accommodate students’ varying academic needs.

Thanks to a grant from Pi Beta Phi Foundation, all CAR program materials—including folders, activities, certificates and books—are provided to participating chapters and alumnae clubs at no charge. Chapters and clubs are responsible only for shipping and handling costs. We encourage chapters and clubs to participate in CAR at least once a year.

About the CAR Program

To truly develop a mentoring relationship, CAR works best when members work one-on-one with students. Due to some classroom sizes, members might need to work with more than one student, with three students being the maximum assigned to one member. Over the course of several weeks, members will work regularly with students to read books and complete activities based on the readings.

Below are five steps for your chapter or club to implement CAR. A detailed outline can be found in the Read > Lead > Achieve® Guide and a list of frequently asked questions about the program are available below.

  1. Research local schools in your area and reach out to the school administrator, principal or specific teacher.
  2. Assess how many members are needed to support this classroom or school.
  3. Make sure you dedicate enough time to complete background checks, COVID tests and any other requirements necessary to enter a classroom. 
  4. Complete the CAR order form.
  5. Schedule a meeting or call to review and coordinate materials with the classroom’s teacher to determine which activities will be most beneficial to the students.

Champions are Readers FAQs

Like all Read > Lead > Achieve programs, CAR is designed to support students in need. Consider choosing a school or organization in a historically marginalized community in your area. Research local schools or after-school programs close to your campus or in your community. Then, contact the principal or program administrator to see if they would be interested in participating in the CAR program.

Collaborate with the classroom teacher or program administrator to determine the activity or activities that will be most beneficial to the students. The teachers or program administrators are the experts and are a valuable resource. Students may have different learning needs; activities are designed to address various competencies and standards. Some students may need volunteer assistance with the activities, and mentors may be needed to guide them through the activities. The activities are not designed to be graded, but rather as practice. Upon completion the activities can be placed in the student’s folder as a portfolio of their work.

When ordering your CAR materials, you indicated the grade level(s) for the students your volunteers will be mentoring. You have been provided with books for the students according to the grade level(s) indicated. Ask the classroom teacher or program director which book titles will meet the reading levels and interests of the students. If the students are already reading a book as part of their classroom or program work, that can be used in conjunction with the activities or to practice reading aloud.

In all likelihood, you may not have time or choose to use all of the activities. The CAR program allows for differentiation according to student needs, which is why it is important to work with the teacher or program administrator to select the activities. Many students will finish one activity quickly and then will select another activity to work on or read aloud to a volunteer. However, some students may need more time and aren’t expected to complete the same activity or number of activities. This way, you can make copies of only what you need for the program.

It does! Although students are not expected to do the activities or reading for the CAR program at home, family or caregiver involvement is still strongly encouraged. This is a great way for students to continue their learning outside the classroom or community program.

Click here to view detailed information on how to implement the CAR program in your community.

If you have any questions regarding the CAR program, please contact We hope your chapter or alumnae club will enjoy the flexibility of the program.

We believe in the power of reading

For more than a century, we've worked to inspire a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential, creating a more literate and productive society. Today, Pi Phis participate, donate and advocate for literacy through our Read > Lead > Achieve® reading initiatives — just as our sisters first did in 1912. 

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