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Pi Beta Phi’s Literacy Vision:


Pi Beta Phi is dedicated to philanthropic and community service efforts that will remove the barrier of illiteracy.


This means we support literacy in a number of ways: through unique partnerships with organizations, through financial backings, through club and chapter programming and so much more. 

Why Literacy?

  • People who can read tend to be more successful and have more earning capacity.
  • Literate parents set their children up for successful and healthy lives.
  • Illiteracy is a factor in the rate of homelessness, domestic abuse, poverty and lack of healthcare.
  • 80% of citizens in prison didn’t finish high school; half of those can’t read or write at all.
  • Increasing high school graduation rates by just one percent would save $1.4 billion in costs associated with jails and prisons.

The Fraternity’s commitment to literacy dates back almost 100 years to the founding of a settlement school in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Pi Phi was solely responsible for all education in Gatlinburg from 1912-1969. Today’s Pi Beta Phi Elementary School is a testament to Pi Phi’s dedication to education. The original settlement school facilities later became the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, an internationally renowned visual arts complex, boasting an acclaimed faculty and international student body.

Today, through numerous initiatives and unique partnerships, Pi Phi continues the tradition of supporting literacy and education for children and families.