Return to Headlines

Zeta Phi Beta Chapter and NAACP Partnership Supports NJ Amistad with Book Collection Donation

The Finer Women of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated – Eta Omicron Zeta Chapter, chartered in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1972 and serving Union County and Upper Middlesex County, completed a community service project where they purchased age and grade appropriate books from the Scholastic Book Fair inventory online and created a Scholastic Book Fair - African-American genre - Book Collection that was earmarked for donation to Elizabeth Public Schools (School 1 and School 20) in partnership with Mrs. Olga Hugelmeyer, Superintendent of Schools, City of Elizabeth, New Jersey.


The Scholastic Book Fair Project was facilitated by several members of the sorority known affectionately as “Zetas” as part of their Team Myrtle Sister Circle initiative under their National Program for Z-H.O.P.E. – Zetas Helping Other People Excel through mind, body, and spirit. The Project was coordinated by Shalonda L. Tanner and her team of Zeta Women: Stephanie Coleman, Gail Ponder, Ellen Michelle Harris, Christina Chalmers, Dr. Shauntele Rogers, Stacey Battles, Gina Allen, Latanya Johnson, and Renee Wilson, Esq.


The liaison for this Project was Charlene Bathelus Dorgely, who currently serves as an elected Commissioner on the Elizabeth Board of Education and also happens to be a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated – Eta Omicron Zeta Chapter.


The Project was originally designed to purchase 20 African-American genre books to be donated to the Elizabeth Public Schools. However, the number of books purchased increased from the anticipated 20 to 30 books in total thanks in part to a generous financial donation from a local civil rights and social justice organization. This organization, Elizabeth Branch NAACP, partnered with the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated - Eta Omicron Zeta Chapter on this project for greater positive impact within the Elizabeth Public Schools District in alignment with the New Jersey Statewide Amistad Initiative. The liaison for this Project representing NAACP was Shawn McClain - Elizabeth Branch, President.


The shipment of 30 African-American genre books were delivered by the Scholastic Bookstore online and were divided into two sets with 15 each to be formally presented to School 1 and School 20. The established date and time for the formal presentation was set for Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at 1pm in coordination with each respective School Principal at each school building.


The beneficiaries of this Scholastic Book Fair - African-American genre - Book Collection are:

1) George Washington – Academy of Science and Engineering – School No. 1, serving grades K-8, located at 250 Broadway, Elizabeth, NJ 07206; and

2) John Marshall – School No. 20, serving grades K-8, located at 521 Magnolia Ave, Elizabeth, NJ 07206.


As an added bonus, the Scholastic Book Fair Project Coordinator – Shalonda L. Tanner personally donated 30 bookmarks with tassels as companion pieces. Each bookmark contains a positive and inspirational message to uplift and empower the young readers. Messages inscribed are as follows: “Be bold & courageous”, “Love what you do”, “Enjoy simple pleasures”, “Do small things with great love”, “You make life beautiful”, and “Love begins with you”. A list of the titles for all books contained in the book collection was provided to each school.