Campus Conversations: Perri Liebergall

"I am currently the vice president community relations for Pi Beta Phi, where I work along with my director of service and philanthropy, Eliza Dixon. Pi Beta Phi’s philanthropic initiative aims to improve literacy rates and inspire a lifelong love of reading that can help individuals reach their full potential. Each year, we have competed with the Pi Beta Phi chapter at Clemson in a book drive to see who can collect the most books. This March, we were able to collect over 4,200 books. My role in this book drive and donation was to support our director of service and philanthropy in planning the book donation parade, organizing media coverage and working with the education department at UofSC to establish a process in which teachers could safely pick up their books. To ensure that we were aligned in each stage of the planning, I scheduled weekly Zoom calls to catch up with the community relations team. Unfortunately, this year, COVID-19 forced all elementary schools in the area to shut down and all UofSC students were sent home for the remainder of the semester, so it was extremely difficult to organize the donation thousands of miles away from Columbia. However, it was brought to our attention by one of our former chapter members that setting up a library is one of the most expensive elements a young teacher encounters their first year of teaching so we decided to partner with the university’s education department to donate our books to seniors graduating with early education and elementary degrees this year. We hope that this donation will directly impact new teachers entering our local schools by providing them with the tools necessary to encourage reading among all of their students. Although we had to change up our traditional plan of directly donating to schools, the COVID-19 lockdown allowed us to rethink our project and implement it in a new and innovative way. In the future, we are looking to donate directly to teachers as well as schools in the community to broaden our reach."

-Perri Liebergall, junior marketing major

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