Phi Kappa Phi Delivering Little Golden Books to Local Hospitals on ‘Make A Difference Day’

Members of the Southeast Missouri State University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society will deliver 1,000 Little Golden Books to Southeast Missouri Hospital and Saint Francis Medical Center Oct. 25 in an effort to “Make A Difference” in the lives of area newborns.

Make A Difference Day, scheduled for Oct. 25, is a national day of helping others — a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Created by USA WEEKEND magazine, Make A Difference Day is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October. In 2002, three million people in communities across the country volunteered, accomplishing thousands of projects in hundreds of towns.

At 1 p.m. Oct. 25, members of Phi Kappa Phi will meet in Academic Hall Room 337 to prepare 1,000 Little Golden Books with labels and a letter from the honor society. Members will deliver the books later in the afternoon to the two local hospitals.

The initiative, known as “Born to Read,” is a cooperative literacy effort that began in early 2001, that puts a new book into the hands of every newborn baby at Southeast Missouri Hospital and Saint Francis Medical Center.

Under the program, every newborn receives a new Little Golden Book upon their departure from the hospital. In addition and in cooperation with the local hospitals, Phi Kappa Phi Chapter 260 provides parents of each newborn with information on the importance of reading in a child’s life and ways to make reading an essential part of their family life.

“Phi Kappa Phi truly hopes to ‘make a difference’ October 25th by encouraging children to read from the day they are born,” said Julie Grueneberg, coordinator of the Born to Read Program. “We hope the Little Golden Books are the beginning of a personal library for every new baby born in Cape Girardeau.”

To help fund the “Born to Read program,” members of Phi Kappa Phi held a garage sale Sept. 14 at the Boardman Pavilion in downtown Cape Girardeau. The organization raised $1,200 from the sale and donations made because of the sale. The $1,200 went towards the purchase of the Little Golden Books to be delivered Oct. 25.

Phi Kappa Phi, an international honor society that promotes life-long learning, brings together individuals from a variety of disciplines. The charter is only extended to colleges and universities meeting the society’s rigorous academic standards. The society is open to men and women in all academic fields who have demonstrated excellence of scholarship and integrity of character.