Stack of books

Women’s Discussion Group Student Club Collaborates with Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society to donate books to Books Thru Bars Project

In celebration of literacy and supporting educational efforts for those in prison, SUNY Broome’s Women’s Discussion Group, a student group focusing on women’s issues, donated two boxes of books to the Books Thru Bars Project at Ithaca College in May 14, 2021 This project was a collaboration with the campus’ two-year international honor society, Phi Theta Kappa.

Faculty Adviser, Professor I.J. Byrnes of the Philosophy Program, noted that the project was inspired by reading Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, a nonfiction memoir by the author who spent a year in prison on drug charges.

WDG members and Faculty Adviser Professor I.J. Byrnes decided to support this literary and rehabilitative project in light of the skyrocketing increase of the number of Americans, particularly women, behind bars since the 1980’s, the problems faced by the children of single women in jail and the correlation of imprisonment and mental health and addiction issues among inmates.

PTK President Bryanna Wayman noted, “I truly believe these donated books bring joy and literacy to the women in prison right now. To donate a book and know I made a difference in empowering women is the best feeling.”

PTK Vice President Angela Gonzalez said, “I believe in encouraging literacy and personal growth through reading, a good book can be the doorway to new opportunities.”

The SUNY Broome Women’s Discussion Group and Phi Theta Kapa would like to acknowledge and thank the book donors involved in this project:

  • Professor I.J. Byrnes
  • Great Books Discussion Member Rachael Vanzile
  • President Bryanna Wayman
  • PTK Vice President Angela Gonzalez

The SUNY Broome Women’s Discussion Group would also like to thank the following campus and community members for their help and support with this project:

  • Dean and Associate VP Michael Kinney
  • Ryan Dempsey
  • David Capodaglia

Submitted by: Irene Byrnes