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Phi Kappa Phi Treat 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 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 former 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 starting in 2003.

With the approval of Deborah Fetch, then 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 can deposit new or like-new books in the designated box in Woodward Library or take them to the Department of History and Philosophy.

When selecting books for donation to the Literacy Initiative, keep in mind that participants range in age from infant to 12 years—with most between 4-12 years of age. All books and monetary donations have to be received the day before the scheduled annual G.H.O.S.T. event. Monetary donations made be sent to Debbie Shearon in the Department of History and Philosophy.