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Friday, July 29, 2022

DKG Art Gallery Artist Spotlight: “Capturing the Moment”

Rebecca Priest, Rho Chapter, Louisiana State Organization


The visual arts are a powerful tool in our everyday world and especially within a classroom. Our spotlight artist enjoyed toying with photography as a classroom teacher and incorporating the arts within her interactions with her students to enhance instruction. Rebecca Priest learned early on that she enjoyed the hobby of taking pictures, and she continued her experimentation with photography into retirement. The Arts & Humanities Jury Committee noticed Rebecca’s keen eye for photography and has asked her to share her insights. She reminds us of an important step in the art of photography; capturing the moment, enjoy in the experience you are witnessing. In Rebecca’s eyes, a photograph can truly say a thousand words.

1. Tell us about yourself as an educator and an artist.

I taught Kindergarten for 31 years before retiring in 2016. I have always loved young children, and I truly believe in the concept of developing the whole child (social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and artistic development) while meeting the needs of a diverse group of learners. Allowing children to explore and create and use their imagination helps nurture their growth and development.

2. What are your inspirations as you are choosing your scenes, and how do you go about doing this?

Photography has always been a hobby for me. Throughout my career, I took pictures of children in my classroom performing daily tasks as well as photos of special occasions. I used these photos for assessment purposes, but also loved to capture ‘moments’ with my photography. These photos were then given to parents at the end of the year. In later years, I learned how to create a classroom photo/slideshow that each family received. I have continued my passion with photography after retiring, especially when capturing beautiful photos of my great-nieces and nephew, scenic areas when traveling, nature, family and friends, and sometimes all of those things together!

3. What kind of photographic device (camera or phone) did you use in your gallery submissions? Do you have any tips for our readers?

I use my iPhone 11 Pro to capture all the pictures I take now. I still have a Canon camera and special lenses, along with the less expensive cameras that were used in my classroom, but I get incredible shots with the iPhone, and it’s always nearby!

4. What is the best piece of advice given to you as an artist/photographer or that you can give to someone else?

When taking pictures with a phone or a camera, snap away…… but remember to stop for a while to just be in the moment and ‘take in’/enjoy all that is around you. The smells, sounds, temperature, and other visuals that are not in the frame will help the memories become more vivid and beautiful. I have recently begun taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but I always put the camera down to just relish in the moment.

5. In your view, what is the value of the creative arts in education?

In an early childhood program, the creative arts are the activities that engage a child’s imagination, whether through art, drama, dance, movement, or music. The creative arts benefit each child’s physical, emotional and mental development.

6. Do you have anything else you’d like to share about yourself or your DKG journey?

In the early 2000’s, I was trained in the Discipline Based Arts Education program focusing on the visual arts. I learned much about the arts and gained an appreciation for all areas of the creative arts. I also learned the importance of developing my students’ abilities to understand and appreciate art. The curriculum was quite structured, but I was able to incorporate many concepts while encouraging the children to express their own, individual creativity.

One more thing…
Rebecca Priest is a Delta Kappa Gamma sister that is never idle. She has been an active member of our sisterhood for twenty-five years and has served as president of her chapter, mentor, and member of various committees over the years. Most recently, Rebecca serves as a key member of the Louisiana State Organization’s Leadership Development Committee where she shares her expertise as a leader among leaders.

Let’s keep the conversation going. If you have ideas or comments for the Arts and Humanities Jury, please let us know.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Scholarship Blog

Did you know that as many as 30 scholarships are available for DKG members studying at the graduate level? Scholarships for the master’s degree level are $6000 and for the doctorate level $10,000. DKG awarded 9 Doctoral Scholarships and 4 Graduate Studies Scholarships for a total of $114,000 in 2022. Requirements for the doctoral level are three years of active membership and for other graduate levels, one year of active membership. Applicants should show evidence of community service and excellence in scholarship. Other requirements can be viewed at the international website (www.dkg.org) under DKGIEF and Funds.

Not only are there scholarships offered at the international level, but state organizations and chapters also offer them. DKG at all levels has made a difference to these recipients pursuing advanced degrees. This financial support also offers encouragement to the recipients who feel that someone is supporting their efforts to gain new knowledge and credentials.

The availability of scholarships can be used as a recruiting tool for new members. What an excellent opportunity to promote membership in DKG by sharing the scholarship opportunities for members! Our scholarships show that DKG really does offer meaningful support for women educators and opportunities for them. Members who already have advanced degrees also support other women educators with their DKG membership.

Make a point to find out what scholarship opportunities your chapter, state organization, and DKG International offers for your chapter members. Then encourage them to apply.

Just a reminder - Did you also know that individuals, chapters, and state organizations can make contributions to the scholarship funds? Contributing to DKG scholarships is a great way to support women educators.

Monday, July 25, 2022

WEBSITE REDESIGN

 

ATTENTION DKG Members

We’ve got some awesome news!

 

The Website Design Team (a subcommittee of CTOG) is rolling out a new DKG website (late fall 2022) that is focused on users’ needs.


We have heard your concerns and comments. That is why the website redesign is driven by two key principles: User-Focused and User-Friendly.


Interested in learning more and/or offering your feedback? Visit DKG Website Redesign for design site maps, a video presentation, a PowerPoint with notes, and a feedback form.


Hope you are getting excited to see the new design. Hope you will take time to share this information with a friend, your chapter, and your state organization membership.

Hope you will see and appreciate that your concerns and comments have been heard and responded to given the parameters within  which we had to work. 


Contact Teresa Cowan or Judy Merz if you have questions using contact information provided on the video presentation.

Monday, July 11, 2022

DKG Art Gallery Blog – Artist Spotlight

 Beverley Johns 

Illinois State Organization – Alpha Phi Chapter

Our latest artist is Beverley Johns, who is currently a learning and behavior consultant who worked within the public schools for over 33 years with students with significant emotional and behavioral problems; she also served as a Professional Fellow at MacMurray College where she taught courses in special education. Bev is the author of over 23 books, mostly non-fiction and four books of fiction. She is the Immediate Past President of Illinois State Organization and is the Membership Chair for her local DKG chapter, Alpha Phi.

What plays an important part in your artistic process?

I love to write and express my knowledge and thoughts through the process. I started writing books in 1995 after an editor heard a colleague and me speak and asked us to write a book. My colleague and I did just that, and I discovered how much I liked to write and share my ideas with others. Thanks to Delta Kappa Gamma I have broadened my artistic endeavors.

The pandemic gave me the time to experiment with different types of writing. When I was President of Illinois State Organization, I wrote a poem at least once a month for my President’s message.

As we experienced the pandemic, I started using poetry as a means to express my frustrations, thus the writing of my poem, ‘Finding My Way’. I also wrote more in essay form, such as Dodge Ball’. I found myself writing Op Ed pieces for the state newsletter on how to travel safely during the pandemic and the importance of being respectful of those who are immune compromised.

During the pandemic when we could not meet in person, we had our Illinois Creative Arts Retreat on Zoom. It was a fabulous experience and we all learned so much. I was also able to participate in the Arizona Creative Arts Retreat and some of the ongoing Texas creative arts activities. The pandemic and zoom made it possible to reach out to our members throughout the Society.

What is your preferred medium and why?

Writing. Books, op eds, and poetry, because I like to express my thoughts in a variety of different ways. Writing can also be a wonderful cathartic experience as well.

I have participated in writing groups for years and the pandemic provided a wonderful vehicle for joining together Arizona and Illinois sisters in a supportive writing group. It is so much fun to share with fellow DKG members.

I love to teach classes on writing for my DKG sisters. Having been an educator for so many years, I gain great delight in encouraging others to share their talents. 

I never thought I could paint or do Zentangle, but thanks to my DKG members in Illinois, I now find myself doing Zentangle as an emotional regulation tool. 

What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?

Begin the process. Don't put off discovering your artistic skills. As in my case, experience a creative rebirth that can get you through challenging times. Share your skills with others. Start small and recognize every bit of progress you make. Never let anyone discourage you -- surround yourself with encouragers.

What does the value of Art in Education mean to you?

Having worked with students with many learning and behavioral challenges, the arts is an integral part of the academic process and a wonderful opportunity for students to discover the interests and strengths they have. We must continue to integrate the arts into our school programs. 

Since I have co-authored two books dealing with trauma and the importance of the arts in helping those who have experienced trauma, I am a firm believer in helping students and adults to utilize the power of the arts to help them.

Prior to the pandemic, I was the lead author of a book on anxiety, and we provided many activities in the arts arena to assist students in dealing with their worries and fears.

 Is there one more thing you’d like us to know?


As a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, I love discovering the many talents of our members and recognizing them for those talents and the many contributions they make. I am forever grateful to DKG for giving me a voice and teaching me many ways to express my thoughts through the arts.

 

 

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The Arts & Humanities Jury looks forward to you returning often to view exciting new content and to share in the joy of creativity. 

We invite you to view the Art Gallery, click here. 

Keep the conversation going, please use the comment section below to suggest new topics, ask questions, or give us your input. 

Friday, July 8, 2022

A Planned Gift To DKGIEF Keeps On Giving

Planned Giving to DKGIEF is a commitment to ensure the present and the future of educators worldwide. 

A gift now to any of the nine funds managed by DKGIEF immediately impacts educators. You can select a favorite fund (Golden Gift, Educators Award, ISF, World Fellowship, Emergency, Eunah Temple Holden, Scholarship, Projects, or Cornetet) or designate that your gift be used in the area of greatest need. You can plan for and give to DKGIEF at regular intervals such as a monthly or annual contribution.

Planned Giving can also ensure YOUR legacy of giving. You might designate a bequest to DKGIEF in your will, name DKG a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, or opt to “purchase” or reserve a leaf for the Wall of Roses (a visual display that recognizes those who give $10,000 to DKGIEF). A reserved leaf with your name to honor your gift will be displayed at DKG headquarters when the total amount is received.

Planning to support the DKGIEF funds is truly generous. When you give to DKGIEF, you create your own legacy and continue to support the important work of DKG.

To learn more about making a gift that “keeps on giving,” select the DKGIEF tab at www.dkg.org

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