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K-State Today

July 30, 2014



College of Education's Marilyn Kaff receives Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant

By Communications and Marketing

Marilyn Kaff, associate professor of special education, counseling and affairs, has received a 2014 Literacy Grant from Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Kaff is one of just 14 recipients of the grant this year.

The $2,500 grant will be used to support the Books-in-a-Bag program, which aims to address one of the most basic impediments to literacy in Tanzania — books in the home. The program, developed by faculty and students from K-State's College of Education, assists families with children with disabilities in Lushoto, Tanzania. Through provided training, parents are encouraged to explore books and bond with their children through reading. Additionally, families receive illustrated books based on local tales, written in Kiswahili and English, to which children can easily relate. MP3s of the stories also are distributed to promote literacy among families without literate members.

The Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grant program was initiated in 2003 to provide funding to Phi Kappa Phi chapters and active members for ongoing projects or new initiatives that reinforce part of the society's mission "to engage the community of scholars in service to others." Drawing from a multi-disciplinary society of students and scholars from large and small institutions, applicants are encouraged to consider literacy projects that have creative relevance to their disciplines and to the needs of their communities.