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Fraternity Day of Service

Fraternity Day of Service is Pi Beta Phi’s International Day of Literacy-related service celebrated in honor of Dr. Seuss’® birthday. Clubs, chapters and individual Pi Phis across the globe host books fairs, read with children and promote reading in their local communities on or around March 2 every year. Each chapter and club celebrates differently with the common thread of advocating the importance of reading. At the international level, Pi Beta Phi celebrates in a couple of unique ways.


Pi Beta Phi was able to offer 100 grants again this year for a donation of 500 books to a registered First Book recipient group nominated by a Pi Beta Phi alumnae club or collegiate chapter. If you are interested in nominating an organization to receive free books from Pi Phi through FDS500 in 2019, you must attend a refresher webinar in the summer/fall of 2018. More information on how to attend the webinar and nominate a recipient group will be posted later in the year.

Signature Events

The Pi Beta Phi Fraternity Day of Service Signature Events will be held on March 1–3, 2018 in five locations across the United States. 20,000 books will be sorted and book fairs will be set up prior to the event. Across the United States, Pi Beta Phis will donate 105,000 books over the course of that weekend. This year’s Fraternity Day of Service Signature Event Cities include:

Bakersfield, California: In 2013, Bakersfield was named “The Most Illiterate County in America.” According to Time Magazine, Bakersfield was the worst city in the U.S. for its overall reading culture. Compounded with having little to no access to bookstores, Bakersfield City’s library system is poorly rated with very low circulation rates and understaffing. To sign up to volunteer at the Bakersfield Signature Event, please click here.

Chicago, Illinois: 89% of 8th graders don’t read at grade level and the overall literacy rate is 53% There is also a significant language barrier for the parents of our Hispanic students. These factors combined lead to desolate areas where little has changed in 40 to 50 years — especially in the realm of education and literacy. To sign up to volunteer at the Chicago Signature Event, please click here.

Cincinnati, Ohio: According to the Ohio State Report Card issued for Cincinnati City School District in 2015-2016, in terms of “Achievement,” which measures how many students passed the state test and how well the students did on the state test, this district scored a 57.4% (D) and a 10.0% (F) respectively. Only 72.9% (F) of 9th graders will graduate in 4 years per the same study. To sign up to volunteer at the Cincinnati Signature Event, please click here.

Little Rock, Arkansas: According to the Arkansas Department of Education, the poverty rate for the students of the Little Rock School District is 81%, and less than 38% of Little Rock School District students are achieving when tested in English language arts. To sign up to volunteer at the Little Rock Signature Event, please click here.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: In a 2016 report published by the City of Milwaukee Health Department, the literacy levels of children completing fourth and eighth grade in the Milwaukee Public School district were examined. Only 15.7% of fourth grade students were reading at or above grade level compared with the United States average literacy rate for this age group of 33%. To sign up to volunteer at the Milwaukee Signature Event, please click here.

Chapters and Clubs

Even if you don't live in one of the cities chosen to host a Signature Event, you can still participate in Fraternity Day of Service by hosting your own reading event to benefit your community. Start planning your chapter or alumnae organization’s Fraternity Day of Service event today, if you haven't already. Each chapter and alumnae organization is encouraged to plan an event that promotes reading to children in your community. To see how other Pi Phis are implementing literacy service in their communities, visit the Read > Lead > Achieve® Facebook page where you can also share your literacy story.

Click here for ideas and inspiration for how your chapter or alumnae club can organize and plan a successful event!

Please remember to follow the Photo and Video Release and Waiver Practice when hosting events where minor children are present and being photographed and/or videotaped. You can also download the Photo and Video Release and Waiver Form in the Resource Library.

If you have questions about Fraternity Day of Service, please contact literacy@pibetaphi.org.