Thursday, November 2, 2017

Amazing Women of Alpha Sigma Chapter

Honoring Our DKG Heritage: Alpha Sigma Chapter was organized by Nu Chapter on October 30, 1961 with eighteen charter members.  Two charter members took leave of absence from their schools to spend a year abroad. Jackie Maring spent a year in Germany and Paula Wittenfield took a sabbatical to study in Australia. Several of the members have traveled extensively and all of the group have profited by the reports of these travels.  Each year since organization, the chapter has participated in a project to raise funds for a local charity. (from Golden Anniversary of Alpha Sigma State 1941 - 1991)

     As I left my home in Spokane in the early morning of October 17 to visit Alpha Sigma Chapter,I could't help but be mindful of the beauty each changing season brings. As I motored through the Cascade Mountain's winding roadway, I enjoyed the picturesque evergreen forest dotted with large, full-leafed deciduous trees. Laden with gold and crimson hues throughout the sea of green, they seemed to open their arms and say, "Welcome to the west side of Washington State." Oh, how I love the beauty of Fall!

     I had the opportunity to spend a delightful evening with Alpha Sigma Chapter members from the Poulsbo, Kingston and Bainbridge Island area AND members of the Port Gamble S'kallum Tribal Education Center. When I arrived at the Center, I was in awe of the beautifully constructed long house for which many events take place. We attendees appreciated being welcomed as several tribal members performed the traditional "Welcome Song."
     DKG member and program organizer Linda Middlebrook explained the mission of the center, "To provide opportunities and quality of life for community members through teaching, training, counseling and assistance for professional, educational and employment. The Center provides tutoring, college classes and other educational programs from preschool to post-high school, and it has grown to offer satellite programs offering: AA degree - NW Indian College, and BA degrees - Evergreen State College and WSU." 
     Of course, one of the main highlights of the evening was eating the magnificent salmon dinner especially prepared for us and served in a long boat, accompanied with traditional Indian fry bread. Oh boy, howdy, what a treat!

     The short chapter meeting prior to our cultural experience included a discussion of the final planning details for their upcoming Closing the Achievement Gap Seminar #8, Tearing Down Walls which will address teaching immigrants, migrants, and culturally diverse students and help to answer many questions. What walls do schools and teachers put up for English language learners? What effect does the threat of deportation have on learning? How can teachers/schools create a seamless education for students attending multiple schools each year? What teaching strategies are most effective?

     It was an amazing evening sharing culture, creating new friendships and enjoying fellowship with amazing educators!
DKG member Linda Middlebrook; Co-Presidents Carol Linscott and Joyce Shultz 

Singing "The Welcome Song"

Traditional Salmon Dinner served in a canoe


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