Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

5K run supports local literacy

The University’s Army ROTC program is teaming up with the Pi Beta Phi sorority to host the University’s first Victory Lap for Literacy, a 5K run to raise awareness and funds to combat Alabama’s growing illiteracy rates.

The event will take place this Saturday, at the southwest corner of the Quad.

“Illiteracy is a growing problem in Alabama as well as the rest of the United States,” said Cadet Kirby Thornton, a senior majoring in entrepreneurship and a member of the ROTC program. “The goal of this event is to promote literacy in West Alabama and to help raise money for the University’s ROTC program.”

According to the National Right to Read Foundation, 42 million American adults can’t read at all and 50 million are unable to read at a higher level than is expected of a fourth or fifth grader.

“We hope that this fundraiser can help decrease that number around the Tuscaloosa area,” Thornton said.

Half of the proceeds from the event will be donated to First Book, an organization that provides new books to children. Pi Beta Phi has teamed up with the organization in an effort to eliminate the barrier of illiteracy.

“This program gives books to younger children whose families cannot afford to buy books,” said Molly Ehni, a junior majoring in psychology and the coordinator of the event for Pi Beta Phi sorority. “That way, children don’t go too long without any practice.”

“Money raised from the event will also go to help the University’s ROTC program attract more students to the University and to equip the program in developing better leaders for the U.S. military,” Thornton said.

Members of the ROTC and Pi Beta Phi hope to continue the program next year but in order to do so there will have to be a good turn out at Saturday’s event, Thornton said.

“This weekend, we hope to promote a better understanding in our community about the importance and effects of illiteracy,” Ehni said. “We also really want to help support the University’s ROTC program.”

Registration for the 5K will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the ROTC building behind Gorgas, and the run will begin at 10 a.m.

The 5K run will be around the University’s campus, heading toward University Boulevard and ending on the Quad in front of Morgan Hall.

Registration fees are $15 and each registrant will receive a T-shirt.

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