Giving books to East St. Louis students

BY Carolyn P Smith, Belleville News-Democrat (Missouri); photo via Facebook (ESTLKAPPAS)

The East St. Louis alumnae chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi has partnered with an international organization to give thousands of books to second- through fourth-graders across the United States, including East St. Louis students.

Joe Lewis Jr., a member of Kappa Alpha Psi said, “We are partnering with Room To Read, which is an international organization.” Lewis said the organization operates in 20 countries and has offices in 10.

Lewis said the public is invited to learn more about the book distribution during an event at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Kappa House at 5101 Lake Drive in East St. Louis. Social distancing will be enforced. and attendees must wear masks during the event.

Lewis said more than 32,000 books with an estimated value of over $800,000 will be distributed throughout the United States. Lewis said at least 800 books will be given to East St. Louis School District 189 students.

“The students as well as our membership and the parents are excited about the partnership and the potential,” Lewis said.

The books will be delivered to the chapters across the United States and the chapters will deliver them to the schools, where they will be read to the students.

Also, there is a virtual component, where books will be read to students who are still learning remotely.

“Reading is the key to a successful life. To become a lawyer, doctor, veterinarian, engineer, teacher, construction worker, civil engineer, journalist or anything a person desires, reading is that tool that will take them there,” Lewis said.

Room To Read was founded in 2000 on the belief that world change starts with educated children.

“Room to Read is making its introduction into the United States through Kappa Alpha Psi,” Lewis said.