Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority hosts Reading is Fundamental

Published 4:54 am Thursday, December 21, 2023

Reading is Fundamental (RIF) held its annual Breakfast with Santa at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library on Dec. 16.

Over 100 kids were treated to breakfast and given books to read over the two-week holiday period.

The Zeta Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. sponsors the RIF event in collaboration with Selma Mayor James Perkins, Jr., State Senator Robert Stewart, Selma City Council and Dallas County Commissioners, and the Selma Public Library.

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The RIF event was founded by the late Nancy G. Sewell, Selma’s first black city councilwoman and longtime AKA member. She is also the mother of U.S. Rep. Nancy Sewell.

District 5 State Board Representative Dr. Tonya Chestnut, a member of the Zeta Eta Omega Chapter of AKAs, said the sorority is dedicated to improving the area.

“The Zeta Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is committed to making a difference in the community,” Chestnut said. “The event not only provides a free breakfast for children but also gives them a free book and gift. This initiative is in line with the sorority’s national initiatives to uplift the community and empower families.

“The importance of promoting literacy cannot be overstated, especially in light of the new Alabama Literacy Law. This law stipulates that third graders who are not reading at grade level will be held back. The sorority’s goal is to increase the number of books available in homes to help children improve their reading skills and meet the required grade level.”

The AKAs’ fraternity brothers, the Delta Pi. Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., also assisted with the event, including Selma City Council President Billy Young and Dallas County Commissioner candidate Mark Neely, both members of the Black Belt Alphas.

“This year’s RIF Breakfast with Santa was exceptional,” Young said. “This year, RIF is more important to our community due to the passage of the Alabama Literacy Act. The many children and parents that participated were so attentive, which made the activity very fun. I salute Zeta Eta Omega chapter, their leadership and those who make the event possible.”