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PKP Chapter Wins Grant for Community Program

June 26, 2015

Angelo State University’s chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) national honor society has been awarded a $2,500 Literacy Grant by the national PKP office to provide new computers for students in the Gifted and Talented program at San Angelo’s Fort Concho Elementary School.

Dr. Lesley Casarez (left) and Dr. Kim Livengood (right) present a new computer to Lori Barton, principal of Fort Concho Elementary.Dr. Lesley Casarez (left) and Dr. Kim Livengood (right) present a new computer to Lori Barton, principal of Fort Concho Elementary.The 10 Samsung Chromebook computers will be used by hundreds of students every year to enhance their participation in the Texas Research Institute for Young Scholars (TRIYS). Through the institute, students independently research and study topics of interest to the local community, present their findings to their peers and then compete in a city-wide competition. 

Fort Concho Elementary is the San Angelo Independent School District’s magnet school for Gifted and Talented students. Each year, there are 35–45 groups, each made up of 4–5 students, participating in the TRIYS program. However, the school receives no additional funding for the program and has limited computer resources. 

Angelo State PKP members, through their “SuperWhy? SuperTRIYS” program, are already participating as subject matter experts for the students to interview on various topics. By donating the new computers, they will further enhance both PKP’s involvement in the program and the students’ access to state-of-the-art computers for their research. Each of the new computers will also be tagged as a donation from PKP. 

ASU’s PKP president, Dr. Lesley Casarez of the curriculum and instruction faculty, said, “PKP is so excited to be able to partner with Fort Concho and provide the resources needed to encourage these elementary students to improve research skills. The TRIYS program aligns well with the mission of PKP to recognize and promote academic excellence. We hope to continue to grow this partnership and support Fort Concho Elementary in the future.” 

PKP is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor societies for students in all academic disciplines. Invitations to join PKP are extended to juniors in the top 7.5 percent of their class and to seniors and graduate students in the top 10 percent of their class. ASU received its charter for a local chapter in the spring of 2013, and since then, many of its members have remained active after their graduation as they pursue their careers. Induction ceremonies for new student members are held each spring and fall semester.