The Raise a Reader project of Alpha Phi Chapter, Delta Kappa Gamma International, has culminated in the distribution of over 3,000 books to four area health departments. Kathleen English, chairman of the Literacy Committee, announced that the 2013 fundraising drive ended successfully with enough funds raised to furnish books and educational materials to health departments in Cass, Morgan and Scott counties. Delta Kappa Gamma, an honor society of educators from the three area counties, began the fundraising efforts last summer and concluded in December. Books were ordered and recently distributed.
Children coming to health departments for immunizations and well-child visits in Jacksonville, Beardstown, Winchester, and Virginia, will receive a book, and their parents will receive educational materials about reading and language use with children. Some materials are being made available this year in French and Spanish to meet the needs of the changing population. The books target children from birth through age six. Information is provided to parents which lists specific activities to encourage speech and language development.
Alpha Phi also continues its relationship with the Jacksonville Public Library and Passavant Hospital. Alpha Phi will continue to provide baby's first book and a developmental calendar that is printed by Passavant Hospital's Human Resources Department. The Jacksonville Public Library will continue to enclose a brochure about the importance of reading to children.
English credits the Raise a Reader project success to area donors, and to the hard work of the Alpha Phi Chapter including literacy committee members Debbie Bicknell, Janet Hayes, Dianna Hart, Jo Ann Nelson, Sally Nurss, Doris Robinson, Phyllis Rhodes, and Suzanne Verticchio.
Funding was raised through a grant from the Lambda State Educational Foundation and the generosity of the following area donors: Arends Awe, Inc., Beardstown Lions Club, Bound to Stay Bound, Cass Cable TV Inc., Cargill Beardstown, Cass County Retired Teachers, Church Women United, Wesley Chapel, Claribel Cully Memorial, The Farmers State Bank and Trust Company, First National Bank of Arenzville, First National Bank of Beardstown, First Presbyterian Church Mission Committee, Fox Fund Grace United Methodist Church, Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative Community Fund, individual donations from Alpha Phi members, Jacksonville Area Chapter AARP, Jacksonville Savings Bank, Land H Insurance Agency Bluffs, Lynch Family Dentistry, Margaret Wilson, M.D., Morgan/Scott Retired Teachers, Mrs. Alf Anderson, Mr. Don Chipman, Mrs. Raymond McDonald, Our Town Books, Passavant Area Hospital, Petefish, Skiles, and Co. Bank, Premier Bank, Thomas Eoff, State Farm Agent, Tom and Jan Tiffin, Trinity Episcopal Church Fellowship, Triopia CUSD 27, Triopia Federation of Teachers, William W. Weller, DDS, Wesley Chapel Harmony Class, Wessler Brothers Insurance, and Westown Ford.