Delegates to the super-regional convention in Baltimore March 22-24 will get a free convention T-shirt if they bring a new children’s book, purchase one on site, or donate $5 or more in support of Alpha Chi’s national literacy project, Booking it to Baltimore!

The collected books will be given to a Baltimore school affiliated with the non-profit agency RIF (Reading Is Fundamental), our partner in the project.

Thanks to Alpha Chi’s merchandise partners, Herff Jones and Brown’s Graduation Supplies & Awards, for underwriting the cost of the T-shirts!

Hi, all,

Many thanks to the Texas Eta chapter, with sponsor Jeanne Tunks, our first volunteers for the RIF event. SEVEN of them will be going with us.

We have a great school that is less than a mile from the convention hotel that we will be working with as our RIF school. We’ll collect books (bring for elementary school children), take them to the school, actually do a read-aloud in 5 classes, do a little activity, and help children select two books of their own to take home. We will be working in classrooms of pre-k, k, and grade 1. We will be able to leave the rest of the books for grades 2-5 to have book distributions in their classes as well. This particular school has 77% of the children eligible for free and reduced lunch. Also, if you have been following the national, state, and local budgeting processes over the past couple of years, you have seen that school book budgets across the country have been slashed and in many cases libraries closed! So this is a wonderful public service we will be doing.

I will have about 100 books with me which I will sell for $4.00 each, for those of you who can not or do not want to bring books with you to Baltimore. RIF will take care of getting all the books to the school.

I hope you will consider helping us! It will take about 90 minutes out of your afternoon, AND it is very close to our hotel.

Please email me with questions or comments (jcheatham@rif.org).  See you soon!

Dr. Judy Cheatham, National Council Vice President, Alpha Chi

One morning last fall I accidentally caught this gorgeous sunrise from my hotel window overlooking Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor. My phone’s camera hardly did it justice! So in March I plan to be right at the harbor’s edge at least one early morning during the convention to get the FULL experience. I hope you’ll be joining us! Polish up those presentations, pack up your business casuals, and finalize your plans to join Alpha Chi in Baltimore March 22-24! There will be no excuse for boredom in this amazing, accessible city! Plan now for your Friday afternoon free time. Here’s one place to start:  http://baltimore.org/about-baltimore/inner-harbor/.

For the past few years, volunteers from AX have gone to an elementary school for an event at which we work in classrooms with children, helping them choose books donated by ALPHA CHI, reading their books with them, and then doing some kind of activity related to literacy.  These have been greatly successful.  More details to follow, but save the date:  Friday afternoon, one hour, probably 1:30-2:30 or 2-3.

The school we’ll visit is located 3/4 mile from the hotel, so you can volunteer to work at the RIF/AX event and STILL have plenty of time to see Baltimore.  If you are interested in volunteering, please let me know: jcheatham@rif.org.  ALSO, if you want to buy your book to donate at the conference, we’ll have children’s books for a flat rate of $4.00 each.

Let me know if you have questions, and STAY TUNED!

We’ve scheduled two featured speakers for the Baltimore convention that we think you’ll really enjoy.

At our opening banquet Thursday night, we’ll hear from prize-winning novelist Sharyn McCrumb, known best for her “Ballad Series” novels that spring from her love of the Appalachian culture and history of North Carolina and Tennessee. Several of her books have been on New York Times best-seller lists and have won honors and awards. McCrumb is a good choice for this convention, in that Baltimore has a rich literary heritage, especially because of native son Edgar Allan Poe, and at the convention Alpha Chi will continue its ongoing literacy service project.

At a plenary session on Friday morning our speaker will be Susan Fillion, an artist who teaches at the Baltimore Museum of Art who has recently published Miss Etta and Dr. Claribel: Bringing Matisse to America, the story of two unmarried sisters in Baltimore at the turn of the 20th century. The Cone sisters’ love of modern art led to their acquaintance with Henri Matisse and their acquisition of one of the foremost Matisse collections in the world, now housed in the Baltimore museum. As well as Matisse prints, Fillion ‘s book includes many of her own illustrations of the Cone sisters’ story, painted in the style of Matisse. Her book is designed in part as a primer on modern art for young people.

Hearing from these speakers will be educational, but they’ll also point us to some of the ways we can spend our Friday afternoon sight-seeing time in Baltimore, exploring the history, literature, and art of our host city.

%d bloggers like this: