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RRegional Conference Highlights EASTERN REGION ▲ AUGUST 4–7, 2016 ▲ PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA Where Deltas Gather – Service is Usually in the Midst 14 • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. By Tina Fernandez The Eastern Region Day of Service was held in Pittsburg at the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center Aug. 3, 2016. The day was filled with activities encompassing the daily lives of young people with a focus on reading literacy, ending gun violence and the im-portance of family “kinship.” The day reflected the Sorority’s world-wide reputation as the “hallmark of public service” for it brought the gift of books to Pittsburgh children and shined a spotlight on programs that support outreach to youth in the community. During a “read-in,” the region’s leadership and partici-pating sorors read to the children in attendance. The center is named in memory of Grayson, a young man whose life ended as the result of a senseless shooting. It provides needed services in the community and is dedicated to improving the future of young people and ending gun violence. The Jeron X. Grayson Com-munity Center shares the struc-ture that houses The Center That CARES program. The Center That CARES (Children/Adults Recreational and Educational Services) is a nonprofit organiza-tion that is entering its 16th year and has supported more than 2,500 students and their families. The children of A Second Chance, Inc. were recipients of books purchased and donated by members. Libraries were established at both locations. A Second Chance is a nonprofit corporation established in 1994. Its mission is to provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment to children who are being cared for by their relatives or a close family friend—formally called “kinship care.” Soror Theljewa Garret, Eastern Region Director, said, “We selected youth focused projects because we wanted to address a major academic challenge: reading.” “Research is clear,” Garret said. “If a child cannot read proficiently by the end of the third grade, they face tremendous obstacles. They rarely catch up with their classmates and are more likely to drop out of high school. By conducting a read-in and establishing onsite libraries designed to increase reading performance, self-esteem and confidence we are an integral compo-nent in their academic success.” This day of service impacted the lives of children in Pittsburgh, but also the lives of sorors in attendance, for it was truly excellence in motion. Members of Delta Sigma Theta read to children during the Eastern Region Day of Service Aug. 3, 2016. PHOTO BY TRACIE GARDNER


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