Kappa Delta Pi spreads warmth and literacy with new service project
By: Marissa Carney
Each year, Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honors society, is required to do a Literacy Alive! Project, in which members are encouraged to create programs and events in their communities that empower literacy skills.
Activities can be as simple as holding a book drive for a community center to larger, specialty projects that work with disadvantaged children, military families, or victims of natural disaster. This year, Penn State Altoona's chapter has partnered with Family Services of Blair County on a no-sew blanket and book bundle project.
With money available from previous fundraising efforts, KDP members purchased $600 worth of fleece for only $200 on Black Friday and $50 worth of age-appropriate books from Scholastic. Students have already made dozens of bundles for children arriving at shelters. "The moms who come into the shelter are given a care package, but the kids don't get anything," says KDP co-counselor Lynn Nagle. "Sometimes they come in with literally nothing. So now, through our initiative, they'll have a blanket that will be their own cuddly little thing and then they are also exposed to literacy through the books, which is what Kappa Delta Pi stands for."
Nagle says Kappa Delta Pi would like this to be the on-going service project for which it's known. But they are going to need some help in the form of donations. Members are looking for new or gently used books, fleece fabric, money, or even time to help make the blankets.
Olivia Cessna, president of Altoona's KDP chapter, is excited about the new project and pleased with how it's going so far. "It's been a really rewarding experience. We are learning new skills and getting involved in the community. It's wonderful to be able to provide some things that the community, and especially children, need."
Nagle, along with co-counselor Stacey Corle, took the first batch of blankets to Family Services in mid-January. She says the shelter supervisor was thrilled and said there will be new families arriving about every thirty days, so more bundles would be wonderful. "We are hoping for people to get word of this project and think that it's a worth-while, wonderful thing, as we do. We want people to step in and say 'we'd like to help.'"