Thursday, September 21, 2017

Read it Forward: Tips for Promoting Literacy

Celebrate National Literacy Month by promoting literacy both on campus and in your community with these ideas and tips.

Host an event.

One of the best ways to promote literacy is to host an event in your local community. There are a number of events that you or your chapter can host such as an informational booth, public forum on illiteracy, tutoring program, book drive, monthly read-alouds and more. Whatever you choose, consider making it an annual event during National Literacy Month.

Spread the word.

Use fliers, posters, bookmarks, brochures and other printed materials to celebrate literacy. You can also create informational packets combining printed materials to be distributed at events. Consider running a PSA or campus newspaper ad for an upcoming chapter event. Social media is another great way to spread the word while encouraging others to do the same.

Give a gift.

Clean off your bookshelf and donate books to a local library, school or organization in your community. You could also host an event to raise funds to make a monetary donation to a local organization that supports and promotes literacy in your community.

Apply for a Literacy Grant.

Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grants are available to help you champion new or ongoing literacy initiatives. The grants of up to $2,500 are available each year for chapters and individual members. Learn more about the program here, and watch these podcasts created by past winner Dr. Paulette Harris (Part 1 and Part 2) for tips on a successful application.

Celebrate year-round.

Even though National Literacy Month is one month of the year, make it a priority to do something—big or small—to encourage literacy on campus and in your community throughout the entire year. For example, consider participating in Phi Kappa Phi’s Annual Book Drive Competition. The competition, open to all chapters, kicks off in February of each year.

Have a tip to share? Tweet us @PhiKappaPhi using #PKPLovesLiteracy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Podcasts Available to Members

Phi Kappa Phi members have access to podcasts on a range of topics including career guidance, test prep and financial planning. Downloadable and playable on your computer or portable music player any time of day or night, podcasts offer flexibility and freedom to listen anywhere.

The Princeton Review Series
Throughout this podcast series, Anthony Russomanno offers presentations on graduate school applications and testing strategies. Russomanno is a frequent national presenter at high schools, colleges and conferences as an expert in the field of admissions and test preparation and has helped thousands of students. Click here to watch the series.

Seeking Success Series
Are you a recent graduate starting a job search? Are you considering a career change? Is your career in a slump? Struggling or striving, this is the podcast for you. The Seeking Success podcast series delivers current resume, LinkedIn profile and job interviewing advice in a quick format. You’ll hear advice from the team at, including award-winning, nationally-recognized career expert Tamara Dowling. Click here to watch the series.

Career Guidance Series
Professional counselor Kimberly Thompson presents a series of three podcasts focused on careers. Thompson has provided career transition workshops and career counseling for more than 20 years and written widely on issues dealing with job loss for The Houston Chronicle. In this 3-part series, Thompson explores interviewing, networking and dealing with stress. Click here to watch the series.

Financial Planning Series
Investment advisor and Phi Kappa Phi member RoShawn Winburn has recorded a series of financial planning podcasts that address a variety of topics including the current state of the economy, budgeting, investing, income taxes, and retirement planning. Click here to watch the series.

Questions? Contact Jamie Chapman at or 800.804.9880, ext. 217.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Application Period Open for $100,000 Excellence in Innovation Award

Phi Kappa Phi is now accepting applications for its $100,000 Excellence in Innovation Award. The deadline for interested institutions to apply for the award is December 12, 2017.

Awarded each biennium, the Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes one college or university for achievement in finding powerful substantive solutions to improve the lives of others and create systematic large-scale change. The recipient institution will receive $100,000 in tangible recognition of its best practice in response to the changes and challenges facing higher education in the 21st century.

“The Phi Kappa Phi Excellence in Innovation Award is a fitting extension of our mission to recognize and promote academic excellence in higher education by lifting up the transformative work being done on college and university campuses across the country,” said Dr. Mary Todd, the Society’s executive director.

Since 1932, Phi Kappa Phi has awarded fellowships and grants to members and students on its chapter campuses. Currently, more than $700,000 is awarded annually through programs that last year recognized over 285 individuals. The Excellence in Innovation Award, first awarded in 2016 to Tulane University, is the Society’s only award for institutions.

The application period for colleges and universities to apply for the Excellence in Innovation Award is open until December 12, 2017. For more information including award criteria, eligibility and timeline details, visit

If you have questions about the award, please contact Kelli Partin at

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Beyond Books: Supporting Literacy and Learning

The very definition of literacy, in addition to the ability to read and write, is competence or knowledge in a specified area. Established in 2003, Phi Kappa Phi’s Literacy Grant Program was created as a way to help members and chapters champion initiatives that recognize the many facets of literacy. The grants, of up to $2,500, help fund projects ranging from traditional reading initiatives to those fostering learning in cultural, digital, financial, health, historical literacy and beyond.

Read how some of the 2017 Literacy Grant recipients are making a difference across the globe:

Paws and Tales 
Emily Taylor Beighley
The Paws and Tales program brings shelter cats and kittens waiting for adoptive homes together with children ages 6-15 to promote literacy and compassion. Helpful for fluent as well as struggling readers, Paws and Tales assists students in becoming strong lifelong readers. Studies at the University of California, Davis and University of California, Berkeley show that children's reading skills improve by 20-30 percent when reading to a pet. Because the human-animal bond lends itself to the emotional safety required for healing and learning, the program also promotes improved confidence and self-esteem. The comforting and nonjudgmental presence of an animal companion helps young learners associate reading with positive and rewarding experiences.

Tiny Book House
Dalia Karina Delanuez
The Tiny Book House project promotes reading, research and neighborhood involvement to more than 9,200 families from different racial backgrounds in the Staunton Bridge Road community of Greenville, S.C. The Clemson University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to implement the project, which engages communities that motivate and foster the love of reading. In its first phase, the project is promoting, building and stocking Tiny Book Libraries (pictured) with new books. The second phase aims to promote literacy and reading activities through a website and community gatherings while also integrating families with children in K-12 using a community recreational center, library system and churches throughout community.

Bringing "To the Mountain!" to Their Ears
Leah McCurdy
The Bringing “To the Mountain!” to Their Ears project is an extension of the trilingual and archaeologically accurate children's book titled To the Mountain! The book was written as a way to connect Belizean children to their cultural heritage. In 2016, the book was distributed for free to nearly 1,000 school children. The current phase of the initiative focuses on creating a trilingual audiobook companion with students lending their own voices to bring the story and language to life. The audiobook will be a unique educational resource for rekindling interest in ancestral Maya language, personal multilingual literacy development for all ages, and classroom-based heritage studies within the Belizean educational system.

Read more about the Literacy Grants Program and see what other initiatives are being championed by this year’s recipients.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Internship Program Deadlines

Are you interested in participating in a DC-based spring internship? If so, don’t miss the 5% early admissions discount offered by DCInternships. Students who apply and are accepted into the spring 2018 program by October 5, 2017, are eligible for a 5% early admissions discount. The early admissions discount can be combined with the $2,500 scholarship available to Phi Kappa Phi members from DCInternships. Members must denote their Society membership within their online application materials. Click here to learn more and apply today.

Phi Kappa Phi members also are eligible to receive a $500 scholarship from the Washington Internship Institute toward their program. The application deadline for the spring 2018 program is November 8, 2017, and the early decision deadline for the summer 2018 program is January 19, 2018. Click here to learn more about the program, deadline information and how to apply.

Questions? Contact Jamie Chapman at or 800.804.9880, ext. 217.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Today is International Literacy Day

Today marks the 51st annual International Literacy Day. The event, held September 8 each year, was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a way to promote awareness about and find solutions for illiteracy.

Since its creation in 1966, the day has been celebrated internationally each year. Many organizations, including Phi Kappa Phi, extend the celebration beyond this day to devote the entire month to literacy awareness.

This year’s theme, “Literacy in a Digital World,” takes a closer look at the effects of digital technology on literacy. International Literacy Day aims to highlight the new challenges that arise when learning in a digital world while providing solutions to overcome these barriers.

In honor of this international celebration, we challenge you to join us and other organizations and communities across the globe to raise awareness for literacy. Tell us how you plan to celebrate International Literacy Day with photos and posts on Facebook and Twitter using #PKPLovesLiteracy.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Apply for a Study Abroad Grant by September 15

The deadline to apply for a Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant is Friday, September 15. The grants are designed to support undergraduates as they seek knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad. Twenty-five $1,000 grants will be awarded during Session B.

Interested students do not have to be a member of Phi Kappa Phi to apply but must currently attend an institution with an active chapter. For full eligibility requirements and application instructions, download the fact sheet or check out the frequently asked questions.

Applications also are being accepted for Session B Love of Learning Awards until October 1. These awards help fund post-baccalaureate studies for active Phi Kappa Phi members. To learn more about the Love of Learning program, click here.

If you have questions about either program, please contact Kelli Partin at