Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated
Epsilon Epsilon Omega Chapter

Alpha Kappa

Reading is Fundamental 

Reading is Fundamental/RIF is the largest children's literacy non-profit program in the United States. RIF believes every child deserves an opportunity to own books, learn how to read, and obtain the fundamental building blocks to achieve their highest potential. Literacy opens doors and enables every child the chance to live their own journey. 

Soror Patricia McKinney Lewis wrote the first project proposal for RIF.  The Epsilon Epsilon Omega Chapter received the first grant to help fund the RIF program in June 1980. The total amount for the first year was $400. The grant provided $300 and the chapter was responsible for $100 to purchase books for the summer project.After approval by the National Reading is Fundamental organization the grant was funded, also with supplying matching funds. During the first year, the Chapter committee distributed books at three Champaign Park District summer camps: Centennial, Spalding and Douglass.  The second year, permission was granted to change the distribution sites to: Douglass Center Day Camp, Douglass Branch Library, Girls’ Club in Urbana and Boys’ Club in Champaign. After Girls’ Club closed, and the Douglass Branch Library moved, the sites for many years were the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club, Douglass Day Camp, Mount Olive Baptist church and St. Luke CME Church. In recent years, book distributions and read-ins in conjunction with National African American Read-In Day have been held at the Laura Lee Fellowship House in Danville, Canaan Baptist Church in Urbana, The Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center, and Jettie Rhodes Day.





Black Girl Brilliance Book Club


“Hey Black Girl! Has anyone told you that you are brilliant

Brilliant! 

You know, exceptionally bright, clever, talented, intelligent, smart, and intellectual. 

Brilliant!”

These are the first lines of the poem Dionne Webster, the present Reading is Fundamental Committee Chairman, wrote titled, “Black Girl Brilliance,” to let black girls know we are not only magical and beautiful, we are also brilliant!


The Reading is Fundamental/RIF committee, created a Black Girl Brilliance book club in the Fall of 2018 to encourage young black girls to celebrate their brilliance. Each book club begins with the reading and discussion of the poem “Black Girl Brilliance.” The book club's first book was Hidden Figures, a book about a group of brilliant African American female mathematicians, who assisted with successfully sending rockets and men into space during the 1960s. The RIF Committee provided each girl with the book Hidden Figures, a copy the poem “Black Girl Brilliance,” and a bookmark. The committee has hosted book clubs at Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, The Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center, Bethel AME Church, and Jericho Missionary Baptist Church.


Black Girl Brilliance

Written By Dionne Webster


Hey Black Girl!

Has anyone told you that youare Brilliant?

Brilliant!

You know

Exceptionally Bright

Clever,

Talented,

Intelligent,

Smart,

Intellectual

Brilliant!


Has anyone called

You

Brilliant?

Has anyone told you

that you

can be

anything

you want to be

with God’s Guidance and Grace?


Has anyone

told You

that your Brilliance

is not defined by your race?

Has anyone told you

that your Brilliance

will take you

far beyond your wildest dreams?


People acknowledge your black girl beauty

your various shades of melanin magic

the sensational styles of your hair,

but what about

Your

Black

Girl

Brilliance?


Have people acknowledged

your Brilliance?

Your Cleverness

Your Smartness

Have they seen the beauty of

your

Brilliance?


No?

Well today is theday

that you

will unleash

Your

Black

Girl

Brilliance

for all of the world to see

and celebrate.


Hey Black Girl!

YOU

ARE

Not Just

Beautiful

YOU

ARE

BRILLIANT!