Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity encourages local students to read

Chelsie Burroughs Apr 25, 2024

SHREVEPORT, La.- The Southwestern Province of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity visited Turner Elementary School Thursday promoting the importance of reading to the students. 

The fraternity hosted its national program called “Room to Read.” The program aims to increase literacy rates among elementary school students.

“It enhances them, whether it is vocabulary, enhances their just technical skills, and the learning process continues to flow. So we want to instill the love of learning and through reading,” said Jerome Brown, Providence Polemarch regional president.

Founded on Jan. 5, 1911, Kappa Alpha Psi was founded on principles of service and helping others, something the fraternity still does today, according to Brown. 

“Even in those early days, one of our objectives was to inspire service in the public interest. So, as men of achievement, which is one of our mottos, honorable achievement, we want to ensure that we give back to our communities. Ultimately, we want to bring up a lot of men, especially those young men, to understand really quality life and what it all does to begin with,” said Brown. 

Their goal Thursday was to assess the students’ reading abilities. The fraternity then takes back the data to assess what needs improvement.

The Room to Read focuses on kindergarten to second grade students. Providence Chairman R.J. Johnson says the fraternity has been a leader of the program. 

“We’ve had 27 different school districts across our five states participate. We’ve helped 4,000 students learn to read and given out a number of books that these students can take home to continue their love of reading,” Johnson said. 

Brown says the program enhances the youth’s learning and helps the local economy. 

“We’re going to be in this community for the next three days and our economic impact is going to be a couple million dollars. So we’re excited about that,” said Brown. 

In the Shreveport-Bossier area, the fraternity over the past five years has helped students at Turner, Queensborough and Plantation Park Elementary schools.