NAKland promoting education, fun for all

The smiles and laughter of families could warm the hearts of just about anyone. The Sonoma State community will soon be able to help provide that happiness to less fortunate children through a unique fraternity event. 

Nu Alpha Kappa’s Gamma Chapter, established at Sonoma State in 1992, has since been contributing to the university and community through philanthropic events and fundraisers. 

The gentlemen of Sonoma State’s Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity or NAK, present their nationally recognized and award-winning philanthropy event NAKland to the Sonoma County community.

This fifth annual carnival day, taking place Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m on the Stevenson field, is Nu Alpha Kappa’s national philanthropy put on by all of its chapters across the country. Games, activities, sports, face painting, food, entertainment, egg hunts, prize give-aways and much more are being brought to the Sonoma State campus to celebrate “Día de Los Niños,” which translates to Children’s Day. 

Although this event is open to the public, the men of Nu Alpha Kappa focus primarily on inviting low-income elementary and middle school-aged children, and their families from within the community to assist them and show they care.

Because NAKland is a free event, the men of Nu Alpha Kappa raise money throughout the year by holding fundraisers, such as their Miss Greek competition for sororities on campus, and through generous donations. 

 “This event [NAKland] is by far my favorite event that the gentleman of Nu Alpha Kappa put on. It’s truly amazing how they get the Sonoma community together for a great cause and to help members of the community,” said senior Marlene Bojorquez. “The gentlemen of Nu Alpha Kappa strive to give back and open a type of educational experience which is what makes their event that much better.”

In hopes to get the word out about this event, members of Nu Alpha Kappa promote at local schools and churches, put up posters around the community and put information about it on social media.  

“NAKland is an important philanthropy to us because many of us are first-generation college students who faced many challenges along the way,” said Nu Alpha Kappa president Diego Ancira. “Our goal is to promote higher education to younger kids who may be less privileged.”

One of the main purposes of the NAKland Children’s Carnival is to promote and foster a positive relationship between the Sonoma County community and college students at Sonoma State. 

In doing so, Nu Alpha Kappa leaders say they’re trying to make this a caring environment for families and children. An example of this: Nu Alpha Kappa members provide children and families that attend NAKland with toys and books to take home.

“I remember going up to [NAKland] last year and not knowing anything about it. I saw the smiles and heard the laughter of kids and knew this was the moment I knew I wanted to become a NAK,” said Nu Alpha Kappa public relations chair Jorge Casanova. “NAKland comes around every year but I feel it’s often undervalued in what it brings to the community. You can walk into the event for a minute and know that what it means to these children is the most beautiful thing.”

Using educational workshops within the carnival-style games, NAKland is built around the idea of gaining a higher education, while also providing a safe and fun environment for children. The members of Nu Alpha Kappa wish to teach children about the importance of education, healthy habits and safety through the games and activities they do with them. 

Not only does NAKland offer a chance for children to learn about college, but they also hold an educational seminar for parents, which offers information about Sonoma State and financial aid opportunities, while reinforcing the importance of college. 

“There is a great importance for this event because we as young leaders hope to make a difference in the community,” said Nu Alpha Kappa member Vince Venegas. “NAKland is an event that helps the school community and the local community come together to help promote higher education for young children.”

The members of Nu Alpha Kappa fraternity say they want to bring the members of the community together to help promote education to families and children who may think it’s something out of their reach. This carnival also helps provide an enjoyable and educational day for all who attend.