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Phi Kappa Phi Treated Children to Books at Halloween

Once a year Austin Peay becomes a G.H.O.S.T town! G.H.O.S.T., "Great Halloween Options for Safe Trick or Treating," is a longtime tradition at APSU, sponsored by the Student Government Association. Originally intended for the children of APSU students, faculty and staff, G.H.O.S.T also draws children from the local community. According to officials, hundreds of children trick or treat at APSU each year. In 2003, however, little goblins visiting the University campus on the evening of Oct. 31 for the traditional Halloween sweets were treated to something new, in addition to the usual candy.

Thanks to the efforts of the APSU chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, children trick-or-treating on the APSU campus were given age-appropriate books by PKP members.

According to Dr. Linda Thompson, professor of nursing and president of Phi Kappa Phi, books are a treat that will feed young minds long after Halloween candy is gone. "The Phi Kappa Phi Executive Board voted recently to launch a Literacy Initiative by giving out books to children, instead of candy, at Austin Peay’s G.H.O.S.T. event," Thompson said.

On the national level, PKP has adopted a literacy initiative to fulfill its mission: "To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others." As part of the local chapter’s efforts to engage in "service to others," Thompson said she, as PKP president, asked all PKP members and other interested people to support the literacy project by donating new or like-new children’s books or by donating money for the project.

With the approval of Deborah Fetch, director of the APSU Woodward Library, Thompson placed a book-collection box on the main floor of the library. "We’re delighted to be the receiving point for such a worthy cause," Fetch said. "The foundation for success in education and in life in general is a strong reading ability."

Thompson said, "Our book drive could be the catalyst that stimulates a love of reading in some of these children. It would be great to know APSU had introduced them to the magic and wonder of books—a first step in their becoming lifelong learners."  Those individuals interested in participating in this Halloween book drive deposited new or like-new books in the designated box in Woodward Library or took them to Thompson.

When selecting books for donation to the Literacy Initiative, Thompson reminded everyone that G.H.O.S.T participants range in age from infant to 12 years—with most between 4-12 years of age. All books and monetary donations had to be received the day before the scheduled G.H.O.S.T. event. Monetary donations were sent to Dr. Linda Thompson, APSU School of Nursing, P.O. Box 4658, Clarksville, TN 37044.




Phi Kappa Phi treated even more kids to free books during G.H.O.S.T.

In addition to the usual candy and other treats, the hundreds of kids expected to attend Austin Peay’s 2004 annual G.H.O.S.T. event were able to kick off their Halloween with something that starts with a “Boo!” B-o-o-k-s, that is.  G.H.O.S.T. was held from 6-8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 29, 2004, at APSU. 

This is the University’s chapters version of the national organizations Literacy Project initiative.  At APSU chapter 191, we call it “Candy for the Mind.” 

Last year, the chapter gave away more than 350 books. This year, the chapter gave away 800-900.  We want to thank everyone who donated new or like-new children’s books or money for the project.

“We need[ed] books for children from 6 months to 15 years old,” says Thompson. “Last year, we especially were short of books for children younger than 2 and older than 9.”  In 2004, no child, regardless of age, went home without a book from PKP's “Candy for the Mind.” 


APSU PKP members:  Linda Thompson, Dick Gildrie, and Meredith Gildrie

Picture from Ghost 


G.H.O.S.T. was held from 6-8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31, 2003, at APSU.  The chapter gave away more than 350 books in its first effort in the “Candy for the Mind” project.  Unfortunately, books ran out within the first hour and not all participating children received books.


APSU PKP members:  Cynthia Moseley, Jennie Preston-Sabin, and Linda Thompson

Picture from Ghost 

For more information about the PKP Literacy Initiative, telephone Thompson at 221-7469 or e-mail her at

To participate, place your books in the collection box on the first floor of APSU’s Woodward Library, or bring them to Thompson’s office in the McReynolds Building, room 103. Donated books should cost no more than $5 each.

The chapter also is accepting monetary donations. Please send your donation to Dr. Linda Thompson, APSU, School of Nursing, P.O. Box 4658, Clarksville, TN 37044.