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Pi Beta Phi Donates 20,000 New Books to Bakersfield Children

Published On: 2018-03-09


For more information, contact:
Eily Cummings
Senior Director of Marketing & Communications
Work: (636) 256–0680

Pi Beta Phi Donates 20,000 New Books to Bakersfield Children  

BAKERSFIELD – March 6, 2018 – This past weekend, Pi Beta Phi® Fraternity for Women distributed 20,000 new books to area schools, after-school programs and community programs serving students from low-income families through the Fraternity’s annual Fraternity Day of Service. For many of the students, these are the first new books they will ever own, and they will lay the foundation for a lifelong love of reading.

The book distribution took place in honor of Pi Beta Phi’s Fraternity Day of Service, an annual event bringing Pi Phis together to serve their communities through literacy service. The event was held at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools on March 3, 2018. Pi Phis helped facilitate children’s activities and worked with recipient groups to choose new books for their students. Several local dignitaries were in attendance for the event, including Mayor Karen Goh, Kern County Supervisor 5th District Leticia Perez, Bakersfield Police Department Chief of Police Lyle Martin, Sheriff Donny Youngblood and Judge David Wolf. On Saturday, local children were given the opportunity to meet the Hall Ambulance mascot, Siren, and participate in engaging activities. All of the children who attended also chose two brand-new books to take home. Access to new, age-appropriate books helps change these children’s lives.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to bring free books to children, families and deserving organizations focused on improving literacy,” said Kealy O’Brien co-chair of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity Day of Service — Bakersfield Signature Event. “We know from our research that one in four people who live in Kern County lives in extreme poverty. With this awareness, it’s not surprising that 69 percent of children do not meet grade level standards on state tests.”

“By providing 20,000 free books, we hope to make an impact on improving basic literacy rates throughout the Bakersfield area,” added Christina Rajlal, fellow co-chair.

Last week –– in total –– Pi Beta Phi donated 105,000 books to five different communities. Pi Beta Phi is helping put books into the hands of these deserving children in partnership with First Book®, a nonprofit providing new books to its national network of schools and programs. Over the past several years, Pi Beta Phi has donated well over $1 million to literacy causes through The Literacy Fund at Pi Beta Phi Foundation, given more than one million books to children in need and impacted over one million lives through its philanthropy Read >Lead > Achieve®.

“Our Fraternity of more than 300,000 women is united in the cause to promote the importance of reading,” said Pi Beta Phi President Paula Shepherd. “According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, one in four children grows up functionally illiterate, and we believe that is one too many. Pi Beta Phi is thrilled to participate in this book distribution because we believe reading transforms individuals, creates leaders and is the foundation of all that we can achieve in life.”

About Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women: Founded in 1867 at Monmouth College in Illinois, Pi Beta Phi has installed 205 collegiate chapters and nearly 300 alumnae clubs worldwide. Pi Beta Phi promotes friendship, develops women of intellect and integrity, cultivates leadership potential and enriches the lives of members and their communities. The Fraternity believes in the power of reading; and through its philanthropy, Read > Lead > Achieve®, promotes a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential. Our charge is for each and every Pi Beta Phi to find a way they can participate, donate or advocate for Read > Lead > Achieve. For more information, visit www.pibetaphi.org or follow Pi Phi on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.