Dinner supports literacy

Courtesy Art
Courtesy Art
By Sergio Legorreta

Students looking to take a bite out of their busy schedules can attend the fifth annual Spaghetti Not-So-Formal dinner today. The proceeds will benefit Reading Is Fundamental, the largest nonprofit children’s literacy organization in the United States.

The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Barfield Drawing Room inside the Bill Daniel Student Center.

Kappa Kappa Gamma and Alpha Tau Omega organized the event this year and all proceeds from ticket and T-shirt sales will go to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s literacy partner.

Reading is Fundamental focuses on increasing literacy among American children, especially young children from low-income households, according to the organization’s website.

Jennifer Moone, director of government relations and community outreach at Reading Is Fundamental, said two-thirds of low-income families in the United States don’t have access to books at home.

“These are families struggling to put food on the table,” Moone said. “We want to encourage and provide them with the tools they need for an even playing field.”

According to Reading is Fundamental’s website, nearly 40 percent of fourth graders do not achieve basic reading proficiency, and low-income African-American and Hispanic students are nearly three academic years behind their peers.

“There is an achievement gap, and it’s a struggle to ever catch up,” Moone said.

Funds from the Spaghetti Not-So-Formal dinner will work to reverse these trends. The dinner is also supported by Baylor Dining Services and student government.

The meal will include spaghetti, salad, cake bread rolls and sweet tea, catered by the Olive Branch Bakery & Café and Uncle Dan’s BBQ & Ribhouse.

On top of the dinner, the event will include a raffle with various prizes. Carol Stream, Ill., senior Anthony Lamantia, who is senior event chair for Spaghetti Not-So-Formal, said the specific raffle prizes are still being worked on.

“We will give out gift cards to various local businesses,” Lamantia said.

Delta Delta Delta and Alpha Tau Omega organized Spaghetti Not So Formal in past years and its proceeds went to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Tickets are available for purchase in the student center, the Hankamer School of Business lobby and the Penland, Collins, Memorial and East Village dining halls today.

Tickets are $8 in advance, or $15 for a ticket and a T-shirt. Tickets can also be bought at the door for $10. T-shirts can be bought separately for $12 as well.