parents and teacher with books

The Chicago Heights School District 170 Parent Academy Program recently received 225 new, high-interest Kindergarten through fourth-grade level books from First Book in partnership with Pi Beta Phi's Fraternity Day of Service Book Distribution event.

Jennifer Gorton, CHSD170's Parent Academy Director and Parent Academy Associate Karen King were thrilled with this new national partnership with First Book for the Parent Academy.

"All of the books that we received will be used to support our Parent Academy programming for each of our grade levels at Garfield, Kennedy and Lincoln schools," Gorton said.

"Each month our workshop sessions have a specific ELA or Math curriculum focus based on classroom instruction and at each session, students are able to select a book to add to their home libraries."

"We are excited to have so many great new book titles for our students to choose from," King added.

Garfield School Principal Maricela Ruiz also addressed the books' importance in supporting school and classroom activities.

"Garfield School continuously connects with valuable community partners to provide additional support and resources for students' literacy success," Ruiz said.

"The books will help promote the love of reading by supporting home libraries where family members can revisit the stories again and again."

The Fraternity Day of Service is Pi Beta Phi's International Day of Literacy-related service celebrated in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday. During the event clubs, chapters and individual Pi Phis across the globe host books fairs, read with children and promote reading in their local communities in March of every year. Each chapter and club sponsor a different celebration embracing the common thread of advocating the importance of reading.

As part of this initiative, First Book partnered with Pi Beta Phi to improve the lives of children in need by creating equal access to quality education through providing students with brand-new, high-quality books

Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 170 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in more than 30 countries. First Book currently reaches an average of 3 million children every year and supports more than one in four of the estimated 1.3 million classrooms and programs serving children in need. With an additional 1,000 educators joining each week, First Book is the most significant and fastest-growing network of educators in the United States exclusively serving kids in need.

"The donation of these books provided as part First Book and Pi Beta Phi's Fraternity Day of Service is a boon to promoting and support reading for all the families participating in our Parent Academy workshop programming," said Mary Kay Entsminger, CHSD170's Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.

"When organizations like these come together to address the needs of at-risk students by providing educational materials that generate interest and enthusiasm for reading benefits our society as a whole," she added.