Last week, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women distributed 500 new books to the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale.
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 books will be used during the club's summer programming.
Pi Beta Phi partners with First Book, a not-for-profit providing new books to its national network of schools and programs. Over the past several years, Pi Beta Phi has donated more than $1 million to literacy causes and given more than 1 million books to children in need.
"Our fraternity of more than 300,000 women is united in the cause to promote the importance of reading," Pi Beta Phi President Paula Shepherd said. "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."
Verelle Leaton is president of the Southern Illinois Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi. As a retired educator, she was thrilled to present the books to Tina Carpenter, BGCC's executive director.