News Article - 4 minute read

Sigma Mu Mu Celebrates Reading Campaign With Sugarland Elementary School

On April 12, 2024, Sigma Mu Mu Chapter, Third District of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.,
culminated its 2024 Que Bucks program at Sugarland Elementary School in Sterling, VA by
joining students for a celebration assembly and pizza party. Sigma Mu Mu’s annual Que Bucks
program encourages and motivates elementary school students to read by rewarding them for
doing so. Points known as Que Bucks are awarded to students based on the number of minutes
they read, and those who earn the most Que Bucks during the competition receive prizes such as
Kindles and bikes. In January, Brothers Leroy Ross, Sean Murrell, Brian Johnson and Michael
Bennett kicked off this year’s program by visiting classrooms to explain the program to students
and encourage them to read as much as possible.
To reinforce the importance of reading, Sigma Mu Mu leveraged the “Read Across America”
program during a chapter pop-in visit to Sugarland Elementary on 1 March; like Que Bucks,
“Read Across America” helps to improve literacy rates in the country by encouraging children to
read.  Brothers Robert Jackson III, William “Kip” Ward, Willie Hassell, James Banks, Leroy
Ross, and Trevor Browne praised the children for their reading efforts and shared associated
benefits readers can expect such as an expanded vocabulary, increased self-confidence, and a
more active imagination. Sigma Mu Mu coordinated its pop-in visit to virtually coincide with
National Read Across America Day sponsored by the National Education Association. Each
year, National Read Across America Day is celebrated on 2 March, the birthday of children’s
author Dr. Seuss, to raise awareness about reading.
For the Que Bucks year-end celebration on 12 April, enthusiastic kindergarteners to fifth graders
packed into the Sugarland gymnasium for an early morning assembly hosted by Mrs. Kim Grim,
the head librarian at Sugarland Elementary. Sigma Mu Mu Brothers Jerome Smith, Duane Keye,
Leroy Ross, Trevor Browne, William “Kip” Ward, Lee Johnson, and Joseph Smith kept the
children entertained and engaged throughout the event. They also assisted Mrs. Grim by picking
the winning Que Bucks tickets for each classroom. As promised, Brother Leroy Ross treated the
assembly attendees to his version of the Michael Jackson moonwalk in appreciation for the
students’ outstanding reading effort during the year. The school children went into a frenzy and
cheered loudly when music started playing for Brother Ross’ performance.
On behalf of Sigma Mu Mu, Brother Basileus Duane Keye presented a check in the amount of
$500.00 to Mrs. Grim and the Sugarland principal, Dr. Gregory Mihalik, to be used for the
school at their discretion. Sigma Mu Mu also purchased pepperoni and cheese pizzas for the top
reading class in each grade from kindergarten to fifth grade. Each winning classroom was given
3 pizzas and juice drinks of their choice. The Mighty Men of Sigma Mu Mu spent 20-30 minutes
with each winning class during which the students asked Brothers about their favorite books and
super heroes while eating. This fun interaction allowed the Brothers and children to get to know
each other better. Brothers also encouraged them to continue reading for the remainder of the
school year and throughout the summer. As Brothers left the school after the pizza party, many
of the students shook their hands and thanked them for visiting again.