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Press Release

April 30, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RLEASE-March 27

OU Pi Phi Makes a Difference in Illiterate Lives

Pi Phi women actively participate in the promotion of literacy in diverse ways

 

NORMAN, OKLAHOMA-One of Pi Beta Phi’s national core values is philanthropic service to others and the OU chapter of Pi Phi strives to live this out each day by giving back to the Norman community.

Pi Beta Phi was the first women’s organization to establish a national philanthropy, and more than a century of promoting children’s education and literacy began. In 1912, Pi Beta Phi women founded a settlement school in Gatlinburg, Tennessee to support the education of children. This school is now known as Pi Beta Phi Elementary School. Pi Beta Phi provided this school with all the resources it needed for more than 40 years to maintain this educational process.

OU Pi Phi’s commitment to literacy is centered around First Book, which is an organization dedicated to presenting underprivileged children with their first book. One in four children will grow up to be illiterate, which substantially limits their opportunities in life. This problem is one that can and should be solved. Pi Phi has joined First Book in their efforts to bring books to low-income families to give children the learning opportunity to read that they wouldn’t have had without the hard work of Pi Phi women and First Book.

The women of Pi Phi host an annual philanthropy event each semester to raise money for First Book. In the fall, Pi Phi and Delta Upsilon team up to put on Food Trucks Arrows & Ducks. For this event, different food trucks park in Pi Phi’s parking lot and serve food to the Norman community. There is always live music and last fall, Corey Kent White performed.

This Spring, Pi Phi is hosting a second philanthropy event, Pops with Pi Phi. Pi Phi will be selling Popsicles on Pi Phi’s front lawn and playing music. This will be a relaxed, fun event and all the proceeds will be given to First Book as well.

Each year, Pi Phi women hold Read Across America Day at Jefferson Elementary school in honor of Dr. Seauss’ birthday. The purpose of this event is to promote a love of reading in younger children. The children and Pi Phi women dress up as their favorite book character. Pi Phi’s facilitate different reading stations for the children and give them each a free new book to read.

Sophomore Taylor Seacat states “It’s an honor to participate in Read Across America day. Reading has been a major passion for me in my life and helping kids develop this as well makes me immeasurably happy.”

Pi Phi has a long history of promoting literacy and plans on continuing this legacy. To learn about how you can help Pi Phi’s philanthropic focus of literacy check out www.pibetaphi.org/pibetaphi.ou and click on the philanthropy tab.

 

Pi Beta Phi

12 women founded Pi Beta Phi on April 28, 1867 at Monmouth college. Pi Beta Phi was the first secret society for women and organization to establish an official philanthropic focus: children’s literacy. University of Oklahoma established the Oklahoma Alpha chapter of Pi Beta Phi in 1910. The Oklahoma Alpha chapter annually hosts Food Trucks Arrow & Ducks to raise money for First Book: an organization that provides underprivileged children with their first book. Pi Phi’s founding values are integrity, lifelong commitment, honor and respect, personal and intellectual growth, philanthropic service to others and sincere friendship. Pi Phi’s official symbols are the arrow and the angel; its official colors are wine and silver blue.

Contact Pi Phi member Emily Gulick for more information: Emily.gulick-1@ou.edu

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