LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 12, 2012) — The University of Kentucky Chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society was awarded one of 14 literacy grants for 2012-13 from the national society for its proposed project, “Healing through Reading.”
The “Healing through Reading" project is a nine month, self-care book club for women and their children who are survivors of domestic violence and living in a safe house. The project aims to assist women by improving their literacy skills and providing a space for residents to connect and discuss monthly book topics that include domestic violence, unhealthy relationships, isolation and self-empowerment. In addition, children’s books are provided for residents to read to their children.
The project is a collaborative effort between UK Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) and the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program. In addition to receipt of the award for the book club, the “Healing through Reading Project” will be featured in the winter edition of the Phi Kappa Phi Forum, “a multidisciplinary quarterly that enlightens, challenges and entertains its diverse readers, serves as a general-interest publication as well as a platform for The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.”
A team of UK's PKP student members, led by Heather Davis of the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation in the College of Education, and Alisha Hamilton, recent graduate of the College of Social Work master’s program, worked to develop the grant proposal in partnership with Bekah Fulcher, family advocate of the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program.
The Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program, Inc. (BDVP) is an advocacy agency committed to ending intimate partner abuse and its impact on families and our community. BDVP provides a comprehensive, holistic approach to meeting the needs of victims of intimate partner abuse as they strive to find healing and rebuild their lives as survivors. For more information, visit www.beyondtheviolence.com.
Davis credited Amanda Nicksic, outreach and programming specialist at the UK Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center, with helping her develop the idea for the grant proposal.
As listed on the PKP website, “the Literacy Grants program was initiated to mobilize members and resources of Phi Kappa Phi and the higher education community to champion literacy initiatives. Grants of up to $2,500 are available to PKP chapters and individual members to fund ongoing literacy projects or to create new initiatives. The society's commitment to the cause of literacy grows out of and is consistent with its mission, which was expanded to include ‘…and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.’"
Davis hopes that the participants at BDVP will see themselves through the characters in the novels. "That they are able to see both positive choices and negative choices and ultimately find strength in tales of women who not only survive but become incredible people."
The UK Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was established in 2009. Each fall, the chapter initiates eligible juniors, seniors, graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders into its ranks. This year's induction ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 29 at the UK Student Center. More information on this and the selection process is available at the UK chapter's website.
Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society. PKP annually inducts more than 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The society has chapters at more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify.
The society has awarded nearly $13 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, more than $800,000 is awarded annually to qualifying members and non-members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad scholarships, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. The society’s mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”
For more information on Phi Kappa Phi, please call 1-800-804-9880 or visit www.PhiKappaPhi.org.
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