Honor society students attend to altruism, academics
Members in the Athens Technical College chapter of the Alpha Beta Gamma (ABG) International Business Honor Society stay busy bettering themselves and their community throughout the school year. The chapter members not only pursue their academic responsibilities, but they also tackle a variety of service projects.
Most recently, ABG chapter members participated in a book distribution with Books for Keeps, a local nonprofit that works to ensure that area elementary school students, particularly low-income children, maintain their reading skills during the summer. At the end of the school year, volunteers such as the ABG members help Books for Keeps organizers hand out books at the schools. The elementary school kids pick out a dozen books each to keep and read.
Books for Keeps was established to help prevent “summer slide,” a tendency by some students to fall behind due to a summertime lapse in reading and to an inclination of students to forget some of the knowledge they accumulated during the school year. Books for Keeps held its first book distribution in 2009, providing three books each to 83 kids at Alps Road Elementary School.
This year, Books for Keeps distributed 25,000 books to about 2,000 children at Gaines School Road, J.J. Harris, Alps Road, Fowler Drive, and Howard B. Stroud elementary schools. The ABG members helped hand out books to fourth and fifth graders at H.B. Stroud.
Distributing the Books for Keeps books was the culmination of the ABG members’ year-long work on the nonprofit’s behalf. Chapter members set up collection bins, helped sort and categorize thousands of donated books, and raised funds to buy new books for the program, said John Haley, ABG chapter adviser and an instructor for Computer Support Specialist at the college.
In addition to their work with Books for Keeps this year, members of ABG also raised more than $800 for the American Cancer Society and participated in that organization’s Athens-Clarke Relay for Life this year. Their yearly community service also included: working on a Habitat for Humanity house; helping collect shoes and money for Soles2Souls; participation in the local fundraiser Heart Walk for the American Heart Association; and collecting coats for the needy.
All the while that they are working on the various community projects, members of ABG also must maintain a 3.0 overall grade point average (GPA), as well as a 3.0 GPA in their program courses.
Photo caption: Pictured during the Books for Keeps book distribution at Howard B. Stroud Elementary School are (left to right) Donni Smith, Misbah Ahmad, John Haley (chapter adviser), Kayla Ballew (chapter executive vice president), Jamie Sconyers, Winona Meddings (chapter secretary), Melaney Smith (Books for Keeps executive director), and Denny Galt.