About the Signature Event

Fraternity Day of Service ("FDS") is Pi Beta Phi’s International Day of Literacy-related service celebrated in honor of Dr. Seuss’s® birthday. Clubs, chapters and individual Pi Phis across the globe host books fairs, read with children and promote reading in their local communities on or around March 2 every year.


Five locations (Greater Dallas, D.C., Detroit, Hartford, and Portland Metro) were selected to each host an FDS Signature Event on February 25, 2017.  Members of alumnae clubs and chapters will work together with Pi Beta Phi Headquarters ("HQ") staff and international officers to distribute books, promote literacy and get children excited about reading. 20,000 new books will be purchased from First Book® and given to children in need via local recipient groups in the Portland Metro area.

Check out Heather Skogen's photo album to get a feel for all that went on during the best 25 hours ever!

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These are a few of the businesses that supported our event. We hope that you will think of them if you are ever in need of their services.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST COLLEGE OF ART - they provided a generous discount for use of their space over two+ days.  Interested in booking PNCA for an upcoming event? Contact events@pnca.edu

BARRAN LIEBMAN ATTORNEYS - they provided $$ for volunteer snacks/lunch

MIRACLE SIGN CO. - they printed two huge banners for us with their compliments. Contact dan@miraclesign.com if you are ever in need of banners, signs, etc. that are beautifully done, well priced and you need quick turnaround.

Contact Anne Campbell McCleskey if you would like to purchase MCCLESKEY CELLARS wines.

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Thank you so very much for all of the books for our students! We will use them as giveaways for our academic family engagement nights and for our summer book program. The latter is even more important than ever since funding for summer school has now been cut. ~ From Reading Coach at MLK Jr. School, PK-8

Family of Friends Mentoring program would like you to know how VERY much we appreciated being included in your phenomenal book distribution event on 2/25/17 in Portland. We were so thrilled to be invited and totally amazed by your inspiring book fair. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to meet your helpful representatives, see all the free books and make selections based on the children we serve in our program. What a generous gift. It felt like Christmas! We so appreciate the very relevant philanthropic work you do and your mission of creating a love of reading and learning. It is a mission that truly speaks to our work with kids as well. Each September, Family of Friends celebrates our program with a mentor, mentee and family picnic. Instead of a cake walk, we hold a book walk. Due to a limited budget, we have only been able to provide gently used books. Through your very generous gift, this year we will be giving away brand-new beautiful books. Most of the children in our program don’t have many books in their homes, let alone a brand-new book of their very own. The book walk adds so much to our picnic festivities and we love how well it fits with our efforts to support kids' reading and learning. If any of your Pi Beta Phi members are interested, we would love to have you join us at our picnic in September so we can thank you in person and show you what our program is all about. As the time grows closer, we will let you know the date and place. Our deepest gratitude goes out to Pi Beta Phi and First Books for supplying so many wonderful new books to our program. A million thanks to you from all of the Mentors and Mentees of Family of Friends.  www.facebook.com/FamilyOfFriendsMetro/

This has been such a blessing. We are giving away books here at Whitman Elementary for Read Across America! Students are excited to receive books that they can "keep forever." ~ From an ESL teacher

We’re so grateful that you made this happen for the children of Home Forward. Thank you!!! ~ From Education and Youth Initiatives Program Director

Nicole Sligh of First Book Portland just dropped off to the Start Making a Reader Today (SMART) office 100 books from the Pi Beta Phi book event. The books are to benefit SMART children. I’m very glad to hear that your book event was so successful! And thank you for including SMART.

My class was DELIGHTED to receive the books. When I had all the books spread out on a large table and told them they would each get to keep two, they cheered and clapped their hands. About 10 kids got up and gave me a hug before even selecting their books. After they selected their books, we had about 15 minutes to read together or with a partner before they took the books home. The room was just buzzing with reading and excitement about books. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity with First Book and Pi Beta Phi. ~From a 2nd grade teacher at William Walker Elementary in Beaverton

Thank YOU so much for allowing us the opportunity to be part of this! It was lovely!   ~From a teacher at Parklane Elementary

Thank you for your recent donation of children's books to The Children's Book Bank! By collecting and donating 319 books, you have provided a critical resource for engaging children in reading. One parent of a little boy from Portland Public Schools Head Start told us how his “eyes light up” when reading his books from The Children’s Book Bank. He told her, “Mom, look I have my own books. Now I can read them to my friends.” It’s this excitement and pride in owning books that will keep him going back to books again and again, developing successful habits for reading, school, and life. Since 2008, The Children’s Book Bank delivered books to over 41,000 low-income children who otherwise may not have books of their own at home. This success would not be possible without our volunteers and donors like you. Thank you for being part of our community of supporters!

Thank you for the books! I can hand a new book to each child in my class at conferences to help encourage reading at home.  ~From a 1st grade teacher at Sacramento Elementary

The kids were very excited to pick out books. If You have any that are unclaimed and are looking for homes, we will definitely take them. Thank you again for all the work you did so the kids have this incredible opportunity!!   ~From a volunteer in David Douglas School District

Thank YOU so much for this amazing opportunity. We have parent conferences next week, and students in my Title I program (over 125!) will be able to pick out a book while I meet and greet parents. ~From Title I reading teacher at Russell Elementary

I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to get such amazing books for the students and children I work with and see regularly. With the generous amount of books I was given, I have donated them to several families as well as the middle school where I work and a family shelter. Thank you, Thank you and Thank you, First Book, for this great program! It blesses lives!!!  ~From a teacher's aide at Ron Russell Middle School

Thank you so much for coming to Portland with your annual book distribution and including the young parents and children of Insights Teen Parent Services. We're so grateful for our brand new books to share with our young familites on home visits.

On behalf of all of the kids at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, I want to reach out to offer our sincere thank you for inviting our organization to be a part of this amazing multi-city opportunity! From the moment we walked in the door at the Portland event, we were greeted with a well-organized, exceptionally helpful team, waiting to assist as we picked out 350 books for our littlest patients. From guiding us to great book choices, to putting boxes together and helping us load the books into our car, your team was first class! Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center is a multi-clinic community health center that sees many of the most vulnerable members of our community in Washington and Yamhill counties, Oregon (near Portland). We have been serving our community for over 41 years, when six-year-old Virginia Garcia, the daughter of migrant farmworkers, arrived with her family to harvest strawberries. Virginia’s young life took a tragic turn when she passed away from a simple treatable foot infection due to barriers her parents encountered in seeking health care. Coming from this tragedy, the community came together to ensure this would never happen again and established the first clinic in a three-car garage. Today, we serve over 44,000 patients annually and over 40 percent are children under 18 years. You can see how impactful your donation is to our organization as we work to provide books to kids during their well-child visits. Please extend our appreciation to everyone who helped to make this happen! We are grateful. ~From Foundation Relations Officer

Thank you so very much for the books! My kids were so very excited to receive them. Always nice to be a rock star teacher sharing new books with my kids. Attached is a pic of them celebrating their new books. ~From a teacher at Marysville School

I want to thank you so much. I would like to share what you have all done for us on my school webpage. ~From a teacher/librarian at Rigler Elementary

I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful donation of 22 books for Hathaway Elementary School. As you know, these books are high interest topics and we will offer them immediately for our Birthday Book giveaway program. This program makes sure that all students, regardless of their status, get a new book each year. We rely on donations for this program and our book trading twice a year to make sure all students who need it, including our homeless, get fresh materials without singling them out. We are a small mill town community with many of our students on free and reduced lunches. Your kind thoughts and donation will allow 22 students to go home on their birthday with dreamy and exciting books they will love. Two of the books have already been chosen to go home! ~From Hathaway Library Assistant, Washougal School District

I’m so happy we were able to participate in this event! ~ From Oregon Alpha Chapter President Bridget

Thank you for the many books you donated to Prescott Elementary and the many other schools scattered throughout the Portland area. Right before school began this year, I found out my entire library budget had been cut from almost $3,000 to $600. That budget includes all the tape, book jackets, barcodes, supplies and books to be purchased for the school year. Your generous donation has been a remarkable gift toward our library. It has been wonderful to share these books with our Preschool through 5th grade students. They are enjoying some of the newer series and the bright-colorful picture books. We are so appreciative and grateful for this, thank you! Your event was organized, positive, structured and enjoyable for something of this nature. I can't imagine what could have been done to make it a better experience. There were two people assisting my husband and I, it was incredibly organized, every person was helpful, welcoming and friendly, and our experience was wonderful. Thank you for each person that had a part in this event. You are making a difference through what you do.
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07.18.2016: Pi Beta Phi Headquarters announced the five selected locations via an eBlast.
  Chanel did a great job with her research about literacy levels in the Portland area and completed the lengthy application form that led to our being chosen.  Thank you, Chanel!

10.15.2016 from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Bree Melton from Pi Phi HQ led our first group training session at Maja Berge's home where 11 of us learned what it takes to put on a successful Signature Event.

02.23.2017: The books arrived via freight truck from the east coast.  We were worried they wouldn't make it due to a weather delay in Wyoming.

02.24.2017: 55 volunteers quickly unpacked, sorted and displayed the 20,000 books plus decorated the room and set up the kids' activity station.  We worked from 3 p.m. until 8:15 with a pizza party break in between!  We are an industrious and efficient group and completed before our 9 p.m. goal! 

02.25.2017: Saturday was the MAIN EVENT! Nearly 100 volunteers worked from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. giving away books to approximately 110 teachers and leaders in organizations that serve children in need. Our partner, First Book Portland, took the remaining books after the last teacher/leader left and they are spending the new few weeks distributing these books.

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The Portland Metro Signature Event was held at the gorgeously renovated, historic post office building that is now the home to Pacific Northwest College of Art (www.pnca.edu) at 511 NW Broadway, across the street from the Portland Main Post Office on NW Hoyt.

We selected this venue for its central location and the amenities it has to offer. Most of the groups who picked up books are from east of the river and PNCA is just on the west end of the Broadway Bridge.

VIEW PNCA'S SPACE Click on Atrium within the virtual tour to see the space we all enjoyed.

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Grand Vice President Programming, Pi Beta Phi Grand Council

President, Pi Beta Phi Foundation Board of Trustees

Delveopment Director, Pi Beta Phi Foundation

Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, Pi Beta Phi

Chairman, Leadership and Nominating Committee

Director, Alumnae Region Five

Membership Specialist, Alumnae Region Five

Programming Specialist, Alumnae Region Five