International Day of Literacy in Anaheim

Volunteers play BINGO with students

On August 3, Orange County United Way, KPMG LLP, KPMG Foundation, and Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), came together for a one-day effort to support early education literacy throughout Orange County. With the help of more than 900 BAP student and faculty volunteers from across the world, more than 2,500 elementary school students were able to participate in the Beta Alpha Psi International Day of Literacy event.

Volunteers kicked off their day at the Hyatt Regency Orange County, where they were greeted by: Beta Alpha Psi President, Merle Hopkins; KPMG Orange County Office Managing Partner, Mark Clemens; Orange County United Way President and CEO, Susan B. Parks; Anaheim Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Linda Kimble; Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove Chief Volunteer Officer Sergeant John Reynolds; and the Mayor of Anaheim Tom Tait, before being dispatched to 4 Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove locations and 3 Anaheim elementary schools.

Volunteer carries in a stack of new books to handout.

"United Way is thrilled to partner with KPMG and Beta Alpha Psi in support of early education literacy in Orange County," said Sue Parks, President and CEO of Orange County United Way. "With early grade reading being such a critical milestone on the road to on-time graduation, it’s imperative that the Orange County community invests its time and financial resources in fun, interactive programs that gets kids excited about reading and learning about the world around them."

The literacy-focused programming gave K-8th grade students the opportunity to explore the earth’s seven continents by visiting interactive stations staffed by the college student and faculty volunteers. The children participated in educational games and activities and had their ‘passports’ stamped at each station. Following a book reading, each child was given a brand new book.

Teams working together with a volunteers

"The 5th Annual Beta Alpha Psi International Day of Literacy occurred in the place where this event was first held, Orange County California. Over 900 international student members and chapter faculty advisors dedicated one day of their annual convention to work with elementary school students to reinforce the rewards resulting from reading and the world of books. In this event, Beta Alpha Psi members and advisors were routinely surprised by the impacts the elementary students had on the college student members. The elementary students loved having the attention of so many college students. Often, the college students return home and initiate on-going programs in which chapter members work on reading skills with underprivileged elementary students. For many members this is the highlight of their annual convention," says Merle Hopkins, President of Beta Alpha Psi.

Visiting volunteers donated enough school supplies to fill 200 backpacks provided by the American Institute of CPAs, which will be given to students at partner agencies supported by Orange County United Way. The American Institute of CPAs also donated a book for each backpack and financial literacy information for the programs and families.