Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Helps Children Celebrate Reading

Southeast Missouri State University students, Amanda Embree of Poplar Bluff, Mo., left, and Stephanie Bledsoe of Cape Girardeau

Reading was the focus of a service project conducted April 5-7 by the Alpha Eta chapter of Kappa Delta Pi at Southeast Missouri State University.

Chapter members read stories to children and coordinated activities, distributed books and had a pizza party for children at the Cape Girardeau Civic Center Boys and Girls Club. Chapter members at the Bootheel Education Center in Malden conducted a similar event at the Kennett School District After-School Program as part of a project called Celebrate Reading!

The chapter also donated 236 children’s books to the two programs — 174 to the Boys and Girls Club and 62 to the Kennett School District’s After-School Program.

Chapter members read Dr. Seuss stories and engaged in one-on-one activities with children. On April 7, Julie Wunderlich of Jackson, Mo., a Southeast soccer player and education major, read to the children and talked about the importance of reading.  Forty-two children went “shopping” and each selected two free books. Remaining books will be used during the Civic Center’s “power hour,” an after-school homework program.  The chapter also provided the programs with activities and materials such as word searches, book marks and door hangers relating to Dr. Seuss books.

The project was funded partially by a grant the group received from the Kappa Delta Pi national office. The group also used their local treasury funds to buy books and conducted a book drive at monthly meetings.  Omnicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, also donated books to the cause. 

Southeast students who participated were Amy Bernds of St. Louis, Alpha Eta chapter president; Erin Lalumondier of Festus, Mo., Alpha Eta chapter treasurer; and members Mandy Embree of Poplar Bluff, Mo., Melissa Tillman of Bridgeton, Mo., Rachel Gedville of Festus, Mo., Tara Menz of St. Louis, Stephanie Bledsoe of Cape Girardeau, Sally Muraski of Manchester, Mo., Kimberly Howenstine of Pascola, Mo., Amanda Brack of Wickliffe, Ky.; and chapter counselors, Dr. Julie Ray, assistant professor of elementary, early and special education, Dr. Mary Ann Deline, assistant professor of middle and secondary education, and Dr. Kathy Conway, assistant professor of elementary, early and special education.

Kappa Delta Pi is a national honor society for education students.  The Southeast chapter is composed of students with high grade point averages who are majoring in education.