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Pi Beta Phi Donates 105,000 New Books to Kids in Need

On March 2 and 3, Pi Beta Phi® Fraternity for Women distributed 105,000 new books to schools, after-school programs and community programs serving students from low-income families through its 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 distributions took place in five cities across the United States –– Bakersfield, California; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin –– in honor of Pi Beta Phi’s Fraternity Day of Service, which brings Pi Phis together every year to serve their communities through literacy service. Each event featured different guest appearances and activities designed to engage the students while Pi Phis worked with recipient groups to choose new books for their students. Access to new, age-appropriate books helps change these children’s lives. 

Pi Beta Phi wishes to thank the co-chairs from each city, whose dedication and hard work help the Fraternity fulfill the core value of Philanthropic Service to Others:

  • Bakersfield: Kealy O’Brien and Christina Rajlal
  • Chicago: Briana Davis and Rachael Moses
  • Cincinnati: Elizabeth Nelson, Tori Roser, Audrey Miller and Meghan Grenier
  • Little Rock: Traci Walker Hogue and Becky Brewer Wilson
  • Milwaukee: Shelley Greene Stewart and Deb Jackowniak Scarlett

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.”

Press releases from each city’s event can be found in the Pi Beta Phi News Archives.