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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Ceremonies Revamped

Do you have a chapter induction or installation ceremony coming up and you can’t find that old red ceremonies booklet? Never fear, while that red booklet has been retired you can still find sample ceremonies on the international website under the Resources tab and then Ceremonies. You read that correctly, there are no official ceremonies but just samples which you can personalize to meet the needs of your chapter. Some of the sample ceremonies you can find here include: chapter induction, installation of chapter officers, founders’ day, recommitment and ceremony of life.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

What Successful Teachers Do: A Dozen Things to Ensure Student Learning

Mary C. Clement

Dr. Clement is a “key woman educator” in DKG.

This book affirms teachers—we need that at all stages of our career.
• The format of the book provides for guidance in an “easy read.”
• Many highlights of each chapter provide a summary and a “quick read.”
• The author acknowledges the pleasure and the challenges of being a teacher.
• Information in this book applies across national/international boundaries—addresses needs of learners and teachers generally.
• Teachers in training are not aware of what they need; student teachers are just overwhelmed; newly-minted teachers follow the paths and sage suggestions of their mentor teachers. After about 5-9 years in the classroom, teachers begin to recall “something” they read once—heard once, but they have difficulties recalling the details. This book guides them back to the theories and affirms their practices as well as providing new ideas for activities or new variations on “tried and true” activities. Teachers are refreshed; teachers are reborn; teachers are reassured that what they have been doing is effective for student learning.
• The book synthesizes research and applies it to the classroom for teachers who do not have the time to do in-depth reading and research on their own because their focus is on their own learners.
The focus is on learning, not teaching.

• Some may contend that the book is only a recapitulation of education classes for teaching majors and students should have retained that information. Life does not always reflect “what should be.”
• Includes Common Core, which is no longer a federal mandate, but it may be still called that in the author’s state. It is not a state program and may yet reflect much of CC.

This could be great as a gift when teachers earn tenure—affirmation of their achievements and a guide for the next stage.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Scholarship vs Grant-in-aid

Many members ask what the difference is between a scholarship and a grant-in-aid.  For reporting purposes scholarships are awarded to Delta Kappa Gamma members and grants-in-aid are awarded to non-members.  Chapters and state organizations can call them whatever they choose, keeping in mind how it is reported each year.

Grants-in-aid and scholarships are awarded at all levels of the Society. At the international level the Scholarship Committee awards $10,000 to qualifying members pursuing a PhD and $6,000 to qualifying members pursuing an advanced degree. At the international level, grants-in-aid are awarded by the World Fellowship Committee to non-members attending a college or university in the United States or an approved university in Canada. State organizations give scholarships to qualifying members working on degrees, receiving special training, professional development or grants-in-aid to non-members in either high school or college. Many chapters give scholarships to qualifying members furthering their education and grants-in-aid to non-members in high school or college.

At the international convention in Austin in 2018, the convention attendees voted to amend the governing documents of the Society so that scholarship fees paid annually by members go to the state organization and to the chapter, if the chapter has a scholarship fund.  A portion of the scholarship fee is no longer part of the revenue for the DKG International Scholarship Fund. Funding for international scholarships comes from contributions, bequests, and income from investments.

International, state organizations and chapters advertise their grants-in-aid and scholarships through their newsletters, websites, social media, and personal contacts. Members and state organizations are encouraged to give donations and bequests to the DKG International Scholarship Fund. Most importantly both grants-in-aid and scholarships support the vision of DKG, “Leading Women Educators Impacting Education Worldwide”.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Educating for Empathy

Educating for Empathy by Nicole Mirra is another book that was reviewed by the Educators Book Award Committee. While it did not receive an award or honorable mention, the committee felt is could be a valuable resource.  This book explores the political charged climate teachers and students are living in both nationally and globally and seeks to instill a sense of empathy within the K-12 curriculum.  
            According to Mirra the deliberate teaching of empathy in education can prepare students to tackle the challenges of the 21st century and beyond with compassion and commitment toward equity and justice.  Using the English Language Arts Curriculum literature becomes the vehicle through which empathy can be taught to students K-12. In Mirra’s book each chapter includes practical tools and discussion questions to promote empathy.
            Educating for Empathy provides ideas for teachers struggling with bullying and hate talk in schools and society. In Nicole Mirra’s words, “The development of empathy in students (and teachers) should be considered a primary goal of education because it offers an organizing principle for our field grounded in hope, love, and a commitment to a more equitable society.”

Monday, November 25, 2019

Strengthening Your Chapter

Are you looking for ways to strengthen your chapter? Look no further than the international website under Resources tab then Chapter Tools and then Chapter Strengthening. Here you will find several documents to gauge the health of your chapter and ways you can utilize to strengthen your chapter. The document entitled, “Chapter Checkup”, is a self-assessment tool to determine key areas that could be warning signs that your chapter isn’t as strong as you thought and then gives you suggestions on how to remedy the “ailment(s)”. Another document gives some sample questions you can use in a survey to poll your members to determine what they would like your chapter meetings to look like. Finally, the document, “Strategies for a Positive Chapter Environment” provides approaches you can take to make sure that your chapter is vibrant, enthusiastic and growing chapter.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Selling School: The Marketing of Public Education

The Educators Book Award Committee evaluates all books, which meet the criteria of the award; however only one receives the award. With that in mind, the committee will share information through a blog format about books that were in the top five considered for the 2019 award. One of those books is Selling School: The Marketing of Public Education by Catherine DiMartino and Sarah Butler Jessen. This book addresses a timely topic that is changing the landscape of education in the United States. The book covers the history of the school for profit movement and its effects on the free, public education system in the country, as well as how students and teachers alike are being educated. It is a topic of interest for all educators, parents, and policymakers.

One online reader review stated “[The authors] discussed every aspect of the branding and selling of public charter schools and schools of choice to stakeholders that include families and future teachers. The authors detail the marketing work done…of the organizations who are running ….institutions of learning. …The book should be required reading for any college grad being recruited by Teach for America, as without emotion the authors' research and dissect that organization’s marketing to, and training of, recently college grads, and compare that to the reality that teachers encounter in their assignment schools. Their final chapter includes recommendations for policy, practice, and research that students and families deserve to have implemented. It is evident the authors hold great respect for teachers and the educational system.”

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Resources for orientation of new members

Knowing what to tell a prospective member about DKG might seem a daunting task on your own but help is available on the international website. By looking under the Resources tab and then PowerPoints you will find a PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes entitled, “Pride in the Big Picture” which you can use at an orientation session to explain to prospective members what DKG is and the benefits of becoming a member. Another PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes that is available to use is the “ Sustaining Pride in the Big Picture” which you can use at a chapter meeting to reorient current members to the history and benefits of membership in the Society. For those who would prefer not to narrate the PowerPoints go to Videos instead of PowerPoints and you will find video versions of these two PowerPoints with narration by DKG Executive Director Nita Scott.

Friday, October 18, 2019

My Parent’s Keeper: The Guilt, Grief, Guesswork and Unexpected Gifts of Caregiving

The Educators Book Award Committee evaluates all books which meet the criteria of the award, however only one receives the award. With that in mind, the committee will share information through a blog format about books that were in the top five considered for the 2019 award. One of those books is My Parent’s Keeper: The Guilt, Grief, Guesswork and Unexpected Gifts of Caregiving by Jody Gastfriend. This book received one of the two Honorable Mention designations for 2019. The last 20 pages of this book provides a compilation of resources and strategies. Even more importantly, it stresses that no caregiver is alone; many people are on parallel paths in the journey called life.

Many of us will face the role reversal and become caregivers for those who gave us life. Note the title of the book. Gastfriend delineates the many aspects of being a caregiver. She outlines the need to address preparation for the possible change in roles through clear communication with all involved people. Too often, families avoid the conversation and make assumptions about “who” will become the caregiver. That just intensifies the stress for the “volunteer” caregiver.

Gastfriend outlines the false assumptions that many make about the “organizations” that will meet the financial costs. Many of the government programs do not cover the expenses—private pay becomes a reality that many have not included in their plans.

One of the author’s insights is poignant—a paraphrase—People do not plan to fail; people fail to plan. That is sage advice.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The clock is ticking for International Scholarship applicants

February 1, 2020, is the deadline to apply for an International Scholarship. That date may seem months away, but the International Scholarship Committee urges applicants to get started on the process right away. Semester breaks and winter holidays may offer applicants more time to complete the application, but those same holidays can make it difficult to gather the required supporting documents for a timely submission.

Here are some key application facts to bear in mind:
  •  Applicants must be enrolled in their degree program at the time of application and must not complete the degree prior to July 30, 2020.
  • The application cannot be submitted until the university advisor has completed the program status report.
  •  University transcripts and letters of recommendation from a professional reference and the chapter president must come directly to Society Headquarters.
  • Application and supporting components must be postmarked or electronically time stamped by the February 1 deadline.
  • Applicants who submit too near the deadline have no chance to follow up on any missing components, and incomplete application packets will not be considered, no matter how worthy the applicant.

Monday, September 30, 2019


This publication is intended for your information about issues important to education, women and children. How you choose to use the information included here is up to you.

This free newsletter is sponsored by the United States Forum of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International is an organization of leading women educators with over 70,000 members. Delta Kappa Gamma members wishing to subscribe to this FREE newsletter should send a request to the editor Angela O. Bedenbaugh at  We urge you to share this newsletter with other interested individuals who are not members of Delta Kappa Gamma or members who do not subscribe to this publication.
constitutional change
constitutionAL change
Most of us are aware of the process of amending the U.S. Constitution. (I’m still waiting for the Equal Rights Amendment to pass.) Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides for the convening of a “Constitutional Convention” to substantially change or even to rewrite the Constitution. Earlier this year I received snail mail proposing convening a national Constitutional Convention.  Apparently, this has been receiving some attention in some of the states.  I was amazed to learn that the 2019 Mississippi Legislature was considering this. That there was considerable dissent in that body does not surprise me.  I do not know what is happening in other states, but this whole concept came as a great shock.  It would seem that a total rewrite would neglect to cover some situations which are now covered either by law or by the original constitution.
The Affordable Care Act is still in the courts.  The individual mandate (anyone not subscribing to ACA) would pay a penalty.  The individual mandate was in effect through 2018 but disappears as of 2019.  Through the end of 2019 ACA provides
  • Young adults up to age 26 can be insured on their parent’s health insurance
  • There would be no annual and lifetime caps on benefits
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered
  • Coverage for mental health and addiction treatment services
  • Federal support for expanded Medicaid eligibility
  • Premium subsidies for low- and moderate-income individuals and families to purchase coverage and cost sharing subsidies to lower out-of-pocket costs

Whether the lawsuit (Texas vs Azar) eliminates ACA or not will be determined by the Supreme Court which will not hear the case until 2020 at the earliest.  If ACA is struck down, there is currently no health legislation to replace it.
The American Medical Association has its own recommendations.  “Continue efforts to cover the uninsured, and ensure that any future proposals do not cause individuals covered as a result of Affordable Care Act provisions to become uninsured, maintain key insurance market reforms, such as pre-existing conditions, guaranteed issue and parental coverage for young adults, stabilize and strengthen the individual insurance market, ensure that low/moderate income patients are able to secure affordable and adequate coverage, ensure that Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other safety net programs are adequately funded, reduce regulatory burdens that detract from patient care and increase costs, provide greater cost transparency throughout the health care system, incorporate common sense medical liability reforms and continue the advancement of delivery reforms and new physician-led payment models to achieve better outcomes, higher quality and lower spending trends.”
Currently during the Democratic debates Medicare For All has been discussed.  One main part of the debate is whether or not people could keep their private insurance.  It is not clear whether the private insurance option would cover preexisting conditions and/or denial of coverage for selected major medical expenses.
The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7) which directs the EEOC to collect compensation data on employees with respect to the sex, race, and national origin from employers. This could be used to enforce laws prohibiting pay discrimination. The bill has passed the House with 239 cosponsors, and it was sent to the Senate where it has not been brought up for a vote. An act of this type has been introduced in every session of Congress for at least the last ten years.  This legislation would begin addressing the pay discrimination identified in the case of Lilly Ledbetter which was partially remedied by the Lilly Ledbetter Act of 2009.
Background: Lilly Ledbetter worked as a supervisor for Goodyear Tire and Rubber.  After she retired, she got an anonymous note informing her that she had been paid substantially less than men with similar experience and seniority. (She was paid $3,727 per month whereas men were being paid $4,286 to $5,236 per month.)  She sued the company for back pay, but she eventually lost the suit in the Supreme Court because her suit was filed over 180 days after she received her last paycheck.  Although the Supreme Court majority ruled against her, Justices Ginsburg, Stevens, Souter and Breyer ruled in her favor. In an unusual move, Justice Ginsburg wrote the dissent and read it from the bench. She argued against applying the 180-day limit to file pay discrimination, because discrimination often occurs in small increments over long periods of time. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 lifted the time limitation on filing pay discrimination suits; however, it did not allow Mrs. Ledbetter to receive a settlement for back pay nor did it attack the problem of sexual pay discrimination.  Lilly Ledbetter not only lost the back pay due to discrimination, but her Social Security was and is based on her lower pay thus reducing her continued income over the rest of her lifetime.
There are several bills in Congress dealing with student loans.  These include the Student Loan Repayment Assistance Act of 2019 (H.R.3098), The Student Loan Interest Tax Deduction Expansion Act (H.R.1070), Student Loan Forgiveness (H.R.3098), The Student Borrower Bankruptcy Relief Act of 2019 (S.1414), and the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (S.768). None has been brought to the floor for a vote in either house.
In the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, the Cherokee Nation was granted the right to appoint a delegate to serve as a member to the U.S. House of Representatives.  On September 5, 2019 the first person to fill this position was selected by the tribe.  The next step in the process would be whether the House of Representatives will seat this delegate. If seated this delegate would presumably have the same rights as delegates from the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.  These officials cannot vote on the House floor, but they can serve on and vote in committees, introduce legislation, and participate in debate.
There are currently many hate groups and different types of hate groups.  After 9/11 the federal government found only one organization which had been tracking terrorist leaning groups in the U.S.  This was the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama and founded in 1971.  In the intervening years the center has been involved in a number of law suits ranging from crowding in juvenile detention facilities, killings of gay people, school discrimination problems and other problems most of which they have won. The center has recently published maps showing various types of hate groups.  It can be found at The map allows one to check hate group variety as well as how many and which such groups exist in your area.
The National Women’s History Museum ( contains history lesson plans, biographies, posters and videos.

The Energy Teacher Resource ( created by the Association of Science Technology Centers designed for teaching grades K-12 provides videos and
energy literacy resources.

The Green Room ( is another free K-12 resource which provides suggested classroom activities created by the National Wildlife Federation to provide suggestions on activities dealing with wildlife, habitat, and ecosystems.
Now is the time to make plans to attend the National Legislative Seminar. The seminar will be held at the Holiday Inn Crystal City on March 15-18, 2020.  The registration form and additional information can be found on the United States Forum website (  We look forward to seeing you in March!
(H.R.3625)  PCAOB Whistleblower Protection Act of 2019 passed the house on September 23. 2019
As of September 1, many bills have been passed by the House.  Few have been brought to the floor of the Senate for a vote. 
To obtain a daily update on legislation that is pending, go to and sign up for legislative updates.  You can choose to get updates on topics of interest via email. When you open the email and click on a bill title, you get a summary of the bill. If you don’t want daily updates, you can go to the site and click on a section called “Find Legislation that Affects You.”  This site uses the information provided by the Library of Congress and organizes it for you.  When you click on a bill here, the sponsor, the history, and the current status of the bill in the legislative process are given.  The site also gives information about the likelihood of the bill becoming a law and includes legislators’ statements in regards to this piece of legislation. 
For those of you desiring discussion of legislative topics there is a U.S. Forum Facebook page online at and a Group page online at
Let us know the issues that concern you and let your voice be heard!

If you wish to contact your senator to express your opinion, you can call the Congressional Switchboard at 1-202-224-3121.  [This is not a toll-free number].  Another way of contacting your senator is via email or a telephone number which is not toll free both of which are available at
Email access and addresses for members of the House of Representatives for members of the U.S. Senate
White House 1-202-456-1111

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