Pi Beta Phi
Southern Methodist University

At Pi Beta Phi, we believe in the power of reading.

We believe reading always has been – and always will be – a powerful step toward a life of enduring impact. We believe that when one out of four children cannot read, that is one too many. 

We believe in inspiring readers, sparking imaginations and igniting the desire to learn. We believe that readers become leaders. And, we believe reading is the foundation of all that we can achieve in life.

For more than a century, we’ve committed ourselves to creating a more literate and productive society. We’ve changed with the times, but never shifted our vision. So at Pi Beta Phi, we honor the past while we build for the future…


The Story of One

Pi Beta Phi believes deeply in the power of reading to help create a more literate and productive society. As Pi Beta Phi’s signature philanthropy, Read > Lead > Achieve draws on more than a century of service and thousands of volunteers to inspire a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential.

By the time we celebrate our 150th anniversary in 2017, Pi Beta Phi intends to have built on its legacy of literacy service by positively impacting 1 million lives through Read > Lead > Achieve and The Story of One. All of Pi Beta Phi’s reading initiatives are built on one simple premise, which is the impact we can have when we connect with a child through the power of reading.

To watch The Story of One video, visit our YouTube channel.

Read > Lead > Achieve. reading initiatives:

First Book® 
In June 2007, Pi Beta Phi announced its corporate partnership with First Book, an international nonprofit organization founded in 1992 with a single mission to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Together, through innovative programs, First Book and Pi Beta Phi are committed to bringing new books to children from low-income families in communities across the United States and Canada.

Fraternity Day of Service 
Since 2005, Pi Phis have been giving their time, talents and treasures to their local communities to promote reading in honor of Fraternity Day of Service on or around March 2. Through Read > Lead > Achieve initiatives like Fraternity Day of Service, Pi Phis make a huge impact in their communities by creating awareness around the importance of reading to children and providing service to others.

Champions are Readers® 
Pi Beta Phi’s unique program, Champions are Readers® (CAR) is a reading enrichment program for students in prekindergarten through third grade. The program focuses on providing a mentoring relationship between volunteers and students while focusing on reading strategies for learning. CAR Connect links CAR classrooms with First Book to provide free books to the children being served in the program. Since its launch, more than 30,000 students have participated in the CAR program in the United States and Canada. 

Arrow in the Arctic 
Pi Phi's Canadian philanthropy, Arrow in the Arctic, supports literacy in Canada's Northern library systems: the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Established at the 1967 Convention to commemorate the centennials of Canada and Pi Beta Phi, Arrow in the Arctic donations are also helping to preserve the language and culture of the North's Inuit and First Nations. 

Read > Lead > Achieve and Pi Beta Phi Foundation 
The Literacy Fund at Pi Beta Phi Foundation provides the financial support for all Read > Lead > Achieve reading initiatives. Chapter support of The Literacy Fund is critical to the success of Read > Lead > Achieve and The Story of One campaign, which will positively impact 1 million lives through reading over the next four years. Click here to learn more about the Foundation and its support of Pi Beta Phi and reading.