2013 LITERACY GRANTS
By Ashley Barnas
Elementary schoolchildren attending the Boys & Girls Club of America in Brookings, S.D., feast on 280 new
books this academic year thanks to South Dakota State University’s “How to Eat a Book”
project. As the delectable title suggests, the
initiative supports literacy and healthiness.
“We have to set those expectations even at
an early age,” said Mary Moeller, associate
professor in the department of teaching,
learning and leadership, and Phi Kappa Phi
chapter secretary, who spearheads the delicious edification.
It involves weekly service-learning for
about 25 SDSU students who tutor youngsters after school and double as role models.
Most SDSU participants come from Moeller’s
classes, and some volunteers are chapter
members, she explained in a phone interview.
Shelby Notbohm is both: a senior English
major also pursuing secondary teacher certi-
fication and a chapter student vice president.
She’s excited by the outreach opportunity,
Notbohm said in a phone interview.
She and fellow chapter student vice president Maggie Bryant, a senior on the same academic path, helped Moeller, their advisor,
write the Literacy Grant. The trio turned to
the local library and to SDSU Extension’s
iGrow Reader curriculum to help order popular children’s books to replace what Moeller,
recipient of a 2012 Love of Learning Award
from the Society, called the well-worn and
well-loved older volumes at the club.
The facility provides in-kind matches
through staffing and vehicles. Each weekday
the site serves 350 to 400 students, most ele-
mentary, through numerous efforts.
Some of the tutoring and 80 of the “
edible” books focus on Club Five, a program for
first- through third-graders identified by their
classroom teachers as at-risk, Callie Dublinkski,
academic success coordinator at the Boys &
Girls Club, said in a phone interview. About
20 students receive assistance on basics at
least one hour a day, four days a week,
throughout the school year. The coaching includes weekly meetings with Literary Grant
tutors one-on-one or in small groups; through
these sessions the students earn a handful of
books to take home as they read them.
The other 200 “edible” books, plus iRead-er titles, literacy games and age-appropriate
periodicals, form a starter library for 250 additional elementary students who attend the
Boys & Girls Club’s Exploratorium of
hands-on educational activities and homework help daily for an hour. Weekly service-learning tutoring also occurs here.
The Boys & Girls Club feeds more than
appetites. It provides a healthy snack every
afternoon and offers nutrition programs such
as how to grow a garden. The organization
promotes physical well-being in addition to
academic success, Dublinkski said. Indeed,
through the Literacy Grant, Club Five will
tour SDSU and its wellness center.
Ashley Barnas is a visual journalist
at The News Journal/DelawareOnline.
com in New Castle, Del. She earned
a bachelor’s degree in journalism and
broadcast communications from Elon
University, her Phi Kappa Phi chapter.
Barnas often writes for the winter
awards edition of this magazine. E-mail her at ashley.
By Jim Bernhard
An award signifies honor for the recipient, as
268 examples demonstrate in this edition of the
magazine. In the following word ladder, can you
transform AWARD to HONOR in 21 sequential
steps by creating a new word for each progression? Without rearranging the order of the letters, change one letter of every successive word
to form a new five-letter English word. To let the
love of learning rule puzzle solvers, I’ve provided the words you should devise for some rungs
along the way. There may be more than one solution. And fewer steps might be possible, especially given the know-how of Phi Kappa Phi
award winners and members!
Jim Bernhard’s books include Words
Gone Wild: Fun and Games for Language
Lovers (Skyhorse Publishing Co., 2010).
He has constructed crossword puzzles
for The New York Times, Los Angeles
Times syndicate, and other media
outlets. Bernhard earned a B.A. in
history from Rice University and an M.A. in English literature
from University of Birmingham (England), where he studied
as a Marshall Scholar. Bernhard was runner-up of the Scripps
National Spelling Bee in 1950. Email him at email@example.com.
For the solution, go online to