Sigma Gamma Chi donates money to promote literacy

By By Natalie Hale

By Natalie Hale

Children at Snow Springs Elementary School in Lehi were able to take home their own books, thanks to students at the U.

LDS fraternity Sigma Gamma Chi was responsible for raising the $3,500 necessary to fund the project.

When trying to decide on a project to conduct, James A. Brown, an instructor at the LDS Institute of Religion, suggested that the organization sponsor author Rick Walton’s “Book in every child’s hands” literacy program.

Upon contacting Walton about the project, Brown said the author was more than happy to help the organization — he allowed them to purchase his books, which were originally priced at about $15, for the low cost of $3.50 each. He also agreed to visit the school and hold workshops for the children in the culmination of the school’s weeklong read-a-thon.

Members of Sigma Gamma Chi and the LDS sorority Lambda Delta Sigma tabled at four locations on campus the week of Feb. 12 and held a number of activities to help raise money for the project.

“This has helped unify us as an organization and helped people outside of the institute realize that it is not all about us,” said Jordan Judkins, a senior in mathematics and president of Sigma Gamma Chi. “This is about giving back to society and our community.”

Within a week, the necessary amount to fund the book project was reached; however, the money didn’t stop coming in.

Judkins said he estimates a large percentage of donations for the book project came directly from willing students who gave their spare change on campus.

Adam Young, a senior in business management, said while he was asking for donations he encountered a couple whose children attend the elementary school and were more than willing to help out.

“The influence and effects this project has reflects back on the U,” Young said. “Every little bit counts. It is all about the effort that you are willing to put into it.”

Josh Leavitt, a senior in biochemistry, said the additional money raised above the initial goal of $3,500 would be donated to ASUU’s Rock the U benefit for the Huntsman Cancer Institute next week.

“The biggest thing is that students are aware that it is their contributions that make all the difference,” Leavitt said. “I am grateful that students have so much generosity and the mindset to look beyond themselves and life on campus.”