As the School District of Philadelphia continues to make strides putting “Right Books” in schools to enhance and develop student reading, via $750,000 grant provided by the Democratic National Convention, the Philadelphia Graduate Chapter of Groove Phi Groove, Social Fellowship Incorporated continued its efforts to put “Culturally Correct” books in the hands and homes of Black students residing in the North Philadelphia area of the city. Although far less than the amount given by the DNC, the Fellowmen of the Philadelphia Graduate Chapter, Inc. were able to prove 168 books with a total value nearing $2,000. The organization’s gift nearly doubles their total 2015 donation. The Books were distributed on 12/4/16 at the Afro-American Museum of Philadelphia and the event was hosted by the Temple University Black Alumni Association. A sampling of the books presented were “Sounder,” “Harriet Tubman: Leading the Way,” “The Mighty Miss Malone,” “Forged by Fire,” “Brown Girl Dreaming,” “Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt,” “Amazing Grace” and “Misty Copeland: Firebird.”
Each book conveys a valuable message for the social development of Afro American children, demonstrates the intrinsic value of differences in meeting the needs of a diverse society, or outlines the bold steps the protagonists took to overcome the challenges of racial, class, or gender discrimination. He also noted that each book purchased and donated not only enriches the lives of children, but helps keep important Black literature in print, as well as support an author seeking to tell the Black story and keep our historical journey from slavery to the presidency alive.
Please note, multiple request to expand our mission to other areas of the city, but in order to expand, we need the community's assistance. Those seeking to aid in this endeavor are encouraged to visit the chapter’s website PhillyGradGrooves.com and select a book for a child. The books can be purchased via a link and mailed directly to the Book Committee Chairman Chris Kingsberry.
Improving Literacy in North Philadelphia
According to Chairman Chris Kingsberry, the Philadelphia Graduate Chapter, Inc views illiteracy as disease disproportionately affecting impoverished children in Black urban areas. However, just as many illnesses can be cured or prevented by being given a pill, illiteracy can be treated or prevented by giving those in need a book. In terms of prevention, studies show that the earlier intervention produces the best results. Thus, when Temple University Black Alumni Association invited the chapter to partner with them in stemming the epidemic of illiteracy, the challenge was embraced whole heartily, but with an aim of meeting three basic benchmarks; character resiliency, pride in ancestry, and inclusiveness.
Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, Inc. ~ Building a Better Tomorrow ~ One Young Man at a Time