52°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Booker Elementary among 24 schools nationwide to get book bounty

A new reading program is aimed at helping hundreds of elementary school students across the nation and in Las Vegas learn how to read.

Leaders of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and nonprofit Room to Read launched Hands-On-Books on Jan. 2 at Booker Elementary School. The audience included more than two dozen Clark County School District students and the panel of presenters included actor John Marshall Jones.

About 8,000 books will be donated nationwide to 24 schools, and each book cost about $1, said Room to Read CEO Geetha Murali. Fraternity undergraduate students at UNLV and the other schools volunteer to read to underprivileged students as part of the program.

The goal is to reach 700 students between the launch date and April. After that, the organizations hope to expand its reach to 1,000 students by the fall.

“In the past, literacy has predominantly been used as a tool for social exclusion and oppression — especially in the United States,” said Evan Jackson Jr. with Kappa Alpha Psi, a junior at Brown University in Rhode Island. “The work that Room to Read is doing is turning what has been used as a tool for oppression into a tool for opportunity.”

“I’m so excited to be able to work. To be able to go into these schools, to read with these children, actually make a difference and show these students that regardless of your socioeconomic status, your ethnicity, your background, that you do have an opportunity to learn and you do have an opportunity to attend school.”

Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, thanked the program’s organizers.

“Education is so vitally important to all of us,” he said. “We thank you so very much to have the vision to realize that it’s up to us as we think about each one, reach one. Each one, teach one.”

During the event, members of Kappa Alpha Psi — a predominantly African American fraternity — talked about the importance of youth being able to relate to the books they read.

“A lot of times children don’t get enough reading because when they open a book, it doesn’t relate to them,” Murali said following the event. The books donated are from South Africa and will give the students “a window into the lives of children there,” she said.

At the same time, the books will be relatable enough that African American students will be able to self-reflect, Murali added.

“The idea is to provide not only a reading experience but also have children in the United States connect with children in South Africa,” she said.

Contact Alex Chhith at achhith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0290. Follow @alexchhith on Twitter.

By the numbers

  • 700: Number of students Room to Read and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity officials hope to reach students with the program through April
  • 1,000: Number of students they hope to reach by fall
  • 8,000: Number of books Room to Read will donate nationwide to 24 schools, including Booker Elementary

How to help

To donate to Room to Read, visit roomtoread.org/support-education.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Local Videos
Elderly woman robbed in Fremont elevator - VIDEO
An elderly woman was robbed in an elevator on the 300 block of Fremont Street. Video courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Preview Las Vegas 2020
Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, hints at new branding slogan for Las Vegas, which will no longer be “What happens here, stays here.” The new slogan will be unveiled Sunday Jan. 19 during the Grammy's.
Wrong-way driver causes fatal crash near Las Vegas airport, authorities say - VIDEO
A suspected impaired motorist driving the wrong way on the Airport Connector caused a crash that killed another driver near McCarran International Airport early Friday morning, Jan. 17, 2020, according to law enforcement. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police detail officer-involved shooting
LVMP identified the officer and show body cam video of the officer who discharged his weapon at a suspect accused of shooting his mother at a credit union, Friday.
1 person killed in wrong-way crash near Las Vegas airport - VIDEO
A wrong-way driver struck another vehicle, killing that driver, on the Airport Connector near McCarran International Airport early Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Alpine fire first responders recognized
MedicWest paramedic Miranda Smith describes the the scene when first responders arrived at the Alpine Motel Apartments fire.
The car that Tupac was shot in is for sale - VIDEO
The vehicle that legendary rapper Tupac Shakur was riding in when he was shot after a boxing match in Las Vegas is up for auction. The black 1996 BMW 7 Series is listed by Celebrity Cars Las Vegas for $1.75 million. (Angus Kelly/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
SUV crashes into art piece at Eastern and 215 Beltway - VIDEO
Artwork of a giant head was sent rolling when an SUV slammed into the artwork installed on a median at Eastern Avenue and the 215 Beltway in the southern Las Vegas Valley on Saturday morning, Jan. 11, 2020. (B.J. Calomay)
Alpine residents struggle to find new housing after fire - VIDEO
Many residents displaced by the Alpine Motel Apartments fire in downtown Las Vegas say they are struggling to find long-term solutions in a region where affordable housing is in short supply. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Biden meets with Vegas Latino community - VIDEO
Presidential candidate Joe Biden met with members of the Latino community at Rancho High School. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Margaret Rudin's first interview after release from prison
Convicted killer Margaret Rudin maintains her innocence in her first interview after spending 20 years in a Las Vegas prison for the murder of her husband, Ron Rudin.
Locals cheer on James Holzhauer at 'Jeopardy!' watch party - VIDEO
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But James Holzhauer would have a better chance at winning “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” tournament if Ken Jennings would stop copying his aggressive betting strategy. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson, other Nevada cities consent to refugee resettlement - VIDEO
Henderson will continue to welcome refugees for resettlement, according to a December letter from Mayor Debra March. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ceremony held for Elvis artist Trent Carlini - VIDEO
A ceremony was held for Elvis impersonator Trent Carlini on Wednesday night at The Space in Las Vegas. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas bus attack caught on video
Video released Metro shows two men talking on a bus on Dec. 13, 2019. A few seconds into the video, the younger man stands up and punches the older man in the face. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Fire at Bella Vite Apartments in central Las Vegas - VIDEO
No one was injured in a fire at Bella Vita Apartments, near West Flamingo Road and South Decatur Boulevard, early Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
North Las Vegas police release details of first fatal officer-involved shooting of 2020 - VIDEO
North Las Vegas Police Chief Pamela Ojeda discusses details of the departments first fatal officer-involved shooting for 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
One person injured in car crash outside Dutch Bros - VIDEO
One person suffered minor injuries in a crash Monday morning outside a southern Las Vegas coffee shop that left one vehicle on its side and another propped up on the overturned car. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas resorts welcome dogs to stay
Las Vegas properties are welcoming dogs more than ever. MGM Resorts International announced a new dog-friendly program across all of its Las Vegas properties in December. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2020 Sex Tech
What sex technology to look out for this year at CES 2020 Las Vegas
Las Vegas police respond to multi-vehicle crash with serious injuries - VIDEO
Las Vegas police are responding to a multi-vehicle with serious injuries near a Henderson park on Wednesday evening. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2020 New Year's baby born at Sunrise Hospital - VIDEO
Marquis Johnson Sr. and Latasha Atkinson talk about their newborn baby, Marquis Jr., at Sunrise Children's Hospital in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. Marquis Jr. was born a few seconds past midnight to be the first baby of 2020 at Sunrise. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Palos Verdes fire on New Year's Day - VIDEO
A fire broke out in an apartment building on Palos Verdes near Spring Mountain Road in central Las Vegas early Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2010. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Year’s Fireworks on the Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Fireworks explode over the Las Vegas Strip to celebrate the new year of 2020. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Crowds gather at Bellagio fountains on New Year's Eve - VIDEO
Aaron Drawhorn talks live with people in front of the Bellagio fountains on New Year's Eve.
Final farewells to Alpine Motel Hero
Family members and friends say their final farewells to Don Bennett, a maintenance man and hero of the Alpine Motel Apartments fire, following a funeral service at Heritage Mortuary on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, in North Las Vegas.
A decade on the Las Vegas Strip in 75 seconds
A look back at 10 years of happenings on the Las Vegas Strip.
Musk 'hopeful' for 2020 completion of underground Las Vegas project - VIDEO
Elon Musk tweeted Friday night that The Boring Company’s underground tunnel project in Las Vegas will be “hopefully fully operational” within the next year. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Woman fatally shot man during attempted burglary
A homeowner in a residential area near Warm Springs Road and Spencer Street shot a man who had broken into her home on Saturday, December 28, 2019. The man, who was in his 30s, died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
National Weather Service issues winter storm watch for Cajon Pass - VIDEO
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Cajon Pass that could impact travel on I-15 between Las Vegas and Southern California from late Sunday night through Tuesday morning. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Vegas Alliance
Volunteers through the Downtown Vegas Alliance sort donations for Alpine Motel fire victims on Saturday at the Mob Museum. (Julie Wootton-Greener/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Man critically wounded in Las Vegas bus stop shooting - VIDEO
A man was in critical condition Friday afternoon after he was shot at a bus stop on Boulder Highway in southeast Las Vegas, police said. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fremont Street is getting a new LED sign - VIDEO
The Fremont Street Experience is planning to add an LED sign that pays tribute to downtown Las Vegas’ history. The 430-square-foot sign is set to be built on the east side of Main Street and Fremont Street. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ethel M Chocolates cactus garden lit for Christmas - Video
The 26th Annual Ethel M Chocolates Cactus Garden Lighting in Henderson, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. The garden will be open until 10 p.m. daily through the holidays. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Therapy dogs dress up for Halloween at Poets Walk Henderson - Video
Therapy dogs dress up for a Halloween costume contest at the Poet's Walk Henderson Memory Care facility. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST