On a recent Sunday afternoon, members of the Austin Peay State University Chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) sorted through boxes of children’s books, categorizing them by reading level, for the organization’s Candy for the Mind book giveaway project this weekend on campus.
Student organizations, local citizens and PKP members donated these books. Many also were purchased with the help of a literacy grant the chapter received recently from the national Phi Kappa Phi organization.
The Literacy Grants program was initiated to mobilize members and resources of Phi Kappa Phi and the higher education community to champion literacy initiatives. Grants of up to $2,500 were available to Phi Kappa Phi chapters and individual members to fund ongoing literacy projects or to create new initiatives. The society's commitment to the cause of literacy grows out of and is consistent with its mission, “to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”
For the 10th consecutive Halloween, APSU’s PKP chapter collected new and gently used children’s books for its Candy for the Mind project. Last year, PKP distributed more than 2,500 books to community children during G.H.O.S.T. (Great Halloween Options for Safe Trick-or-Treating), the on-campus alternative for safe trick-or-treating.
PKP members will be on hand to give books to trick-or-treaters during G.H.O.S.T., slated this year from 4-7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28. Since the inception of the Candy for the Mind project in 2003, thousands of children who trick-or-treat at APSU have been thrilled to receive a book as a Halloween treat.
Dr. Dewey Browder, president of Phi Kappa Phi, said, “Reading and holding a real book in your hands is one of the great joys in life. Candy for the Mind encourages children to read and value that experience, and reading is at the heart of the PKP motto, ‘Let the love of learning rule humanity.’”
Dr. John Blake, this year’s chairperson, added, “Candy for the Mind is a unique chance for Phi Kappa Phi to help children develop a love of reading and learning, and to become scholars themselves.”