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Local chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa funds education scholarship, helps meet local needs

LANSING, Ill. (October 16, 2023) – The International Honorary Organization for Women Educators, Alpha Delta Kappa, gives back to the Lansing community by making donations to local organizations, funding an annual scholarship, and volunteering to support local needs.

Beta Epsilon is the sorority’s local chapter, and most of its members are retired teachers who have taught in Lansing’s elementary schools or Memorial Junior High School in Lansing.

Toni DeLaurentis, Vice President of the Beta Epsilon chapter, has been a Lansing resident for over 60 years.

“Giving back [to the community] is [something] everyone should do sometime in their life,” said DeLaurentis. [Our chapter] really does a great job with giving back for the number of members that we have.”

Founders and history

Alpha Delta Kappa was founded by four teachers, Agnes Shipman Robertson, Marie Neal, Marion Southall, and Hattie Poppino. These teachers saw a need to recognize and support the professional efforts of outstanding women educators.

Their dream became a reality when the organization was incorporated as an honorary sorority for women educators on August 13, 1947.

Since 1947, over 125,000 women educators around the world have joined the sorority.
Alpha Delta Kappa originally started in Kansas City, Missouri, but today, it has chapters in all fifty states of the U.S., as well as in Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, and Australia.

The Beta Epsilon chapter was granted a charter in 1971 and currently has 20 members who reside in Illinois and Indiana.

Giving back to the community

Debbie Poole and Jan Lapinski, members of Beta Epsilon, with Newborns in Need donations. (Photo provided by Toni DeLaurentis)

Beta Epsilon’s main goal is to serve local communities.

Members volunteer their time at a local Meals on Wheels and Food Pantry, assist in schools, clip coupons for military families, and volunteer at churches and other organizations.

Beta Epsilon provides monetary donations to organizations that support families dealing with pediatric cancer and cystic fibrosis. The chapter also helps provide local schools with school supplies.

A few years ago, the chapter partnered with the organization Newborns in Need to help women in crisis who have just given birth.

“The [organization] will let us know what the needs are, and we try to fulfill some of [the needs].” said DeLaurentis. “We go out and buy new clothes, new blankets, and whatever is needed [for the newborns].”

Kathy Dybowski, a member of the Beta Epsilon chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, holds brochures for the Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids Foundation, also known as NICK. (Photo provided by Toni DeLaurentis)

The chapter also raises funds to donate to the Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids Foundation (NICK) to help support families enduring childhood cancer.

“From September 2022 to March 2023 the members of our Beta Epsilon chapter donated $5,897 in monetary and non-monetary gifts and donated 1,299 hours of their time in community service,” said DeLaurentis.

Scholarship initiative

Alpha Delta Kappa awards over $250,000 in scholarship funds every year to students all over the world.

One of Beta Epsilon’s major projects is their scholarship fund for high school seniors. A $1,000 college scholarship is awarded every spring to a senior who will be majoring in education.

A senior at TF South High School in Lansing was awarded this year’s scholarship in May.

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Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan brings local experience and a long list of journalism skills to her work with The Lansing Journal. She understands the need for reliable, factual information in equipping people to build community. An Audio News internship with WBEZ honed her interviewing skills and her sense of timing and deadlines. A native of Calumet City, Kinise is familiar with the interplay of local government, local schools, and local businesses.

1 COMMENT

  1. Above is a great article. Didn’t know about this Beta Epsilon chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa and all of their generous paybacks to our town. Thank you to these women and their generosity.

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