AKA Sorors bring warmth to JPK Mustangs

Published 6:10 pm Tuesday, January 30, 2024

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.Ⓡ, Lambda Psi Omega Chapter in Franklin presented approximately 40 new coats, vests and hoodies for distribution. 

The presenters that morning were Norletta Edmond, Rhonda Chambliss and Rose Parker. The Franklin contribution was received by JPK Assistant Principal Alecia Gatling and Dr. Vernita Elliott. 

These jackets will be available first for McKinney- Vento students in JPK, said Dr. Elliott. She is both the Social Worker for Franklin City Public Schools (FCPS) and liaison for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The latter is a program that helps children and youth who meet its criteria of homelessness. 

“A member from the AKA sorority informed me via phone and email that the chapter wanted to provide coats to FCPS students,” said Dr. Elliott. “I informed her that the McKinney-Vento students would benefit and appreciate having warm clothing items for the cold winter months.” 

According to the National Center for Homeless Education, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines homeless children and youth as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence … and children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason.” 

The definition also includes “children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.” 

The recent donation was certainly not the first time this chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has assisted FCPS. Last January, the organization launched its three-year partnership starting with its MLK STEM Day, which happened in S.P. Morton Elementary School. 

Students in third through fifth grades participated in challenging activities using science, technology, engineering, and math. Other events in 2023 included a lesson in plant growth. Lab coats paid for by the sorority were provided for the students to wear as they engage in such learning experiences. 

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.Ⓡ is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-lettered organization established by African American, college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of nearly 355,000 members in 1,064 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, Liberia, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany, South Korea, Bermuda, Japan, Canada, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. Led by International President Danette Anthony Reed, Alpha Kappa Alpha is often hailed as “America’s premier Greek-letter organization for African American women.” For more information on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and its programs, visit www.aka1908.com.