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MARCH 7, 2019 / MODIFIED APR 10, 2019 09:24 PM

Pi Beta Phi® Fraternity for Women at the University of Arizona and the Pi Beta Phi Tucson Alumnae Club have been selected to jointly distribute 20,000 new books to area schools, after-school programs, and community programs serving students from low-income families through the Fraternity’s annual Fraternity Day of Service. Sunnyside is one of several recipients of this generous book donation from the fraternity for women.

Los Amigos Tech Academy Principal, Valerie Sandoval, with students Santiago Sanchez and Alyssa Gastelum at the Pi Beta Phi press conference. 

"The books will be donated to children through local schools, after-school programs and community programs serving economically disadvantaged families," “Low literacy skills are directly linked to poor health, greater inequality, higher unemployment and less earned income. We believe illiteracy is America’s biggest challenge and that investing in family literacy is critical to the success of our families and nation,” said Lauren Sproull, the organization’s Director of Communications in a recent news release.  

Five locations are selected annually for book distribution events based on greatest demonstrated need both in literacy and resources. In Pima County, 59 percent of 4th graders test below proficient in reading (Arizona State Department of Education, 2016) and 83.5 percent of Pima County preschoolers, about 20,400, are not ready for kindergarten (First Things First, 2015).

The book distributions are part of Pi Beta Phi's Fraternity Day of Service, a major Pi Beta Phi literacy initiative under the organization's national philanthropic effort, Read > Lead > Achieve®. Fraternity Day of Service is an annual event encouraging Pi Beta Phi members to provide literacy-related service and advocacy efforts to their communities.

The book distribution began on March 1st on the anniversary of the birthday of renowned children's book author, Dr. Seuss.