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

Published On: 2014-03-13

For more information, contact:
Eily Cummings
Marketing & Communications Director
Work: (636) 256–0680, Extension 735

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

HOUSTON – March 1, 2014 – Pi Beta Phi® Fraternity for Women distributed 20,000 new books to Houston area schools, after-school programs and community programs serving students from low-income families and Title I schools. For many of the students, these are the first new books they have ever owned and are the first step to creating 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. At the event, Pi Phis helped carry, sort and distribute books and facilitated children’s activities including storytime. The event was held at the Children’s Museum of Houston.

“I am excited I could help plan this event because I believe literacy is the key to success,” said Fraternity Day of Service Chair Suzanne Stiles. “Through this book distribution, Pi Beta Phi got 20,000 books into the hands of the children in our community. I am thrilled to be a part of this inaugural event and I look forward to seeing the ongoing impact it makes.”

Houston was chosen as the book distribution location because it is an area of great need. More than 17 percent of the city’s population lives below poverty level and access to new, age-appropriate books is limited.

“Through this event, we were able to allocate books to children who need them most,” said Children’s Museum of Houston Executive Director Tammie Kahn. “We are honored to have had the opportunity to partner with Pi Beta Phi because we seek to respond to community needs, including fostering the development of our significant child population and reducing the effects of poverty on learning.” 

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 $1 million to literacy causes and given one million books to children in need. Now, the goal is to impact one million lives through its philanthropy Read > Lead > Achieve® by the time Pi Beta Phi celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017. 

“Our Fraternity of more than 200,000 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 200 collegiate chapters and more than 300 alumnae organizations 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. For more information, visit www.pibetaphi.org or follow Pi Phi on Twitter and Facebook.