Zeta Chapter NY State Organization
For this biennium, New York state organization’s Zeta chapter took on the task of growing its membership with a renewed focus. In the past few years, the number of new inductees decreased significantly, while the number of members who were retired had increased. The leadership noted that the long-term health and life of the chapter was in serious danger if there was not some turn around in membership. Along with attracting new members who were actively teaching, the chapter amended its Chapter Rules to include collegiate membership. As a result, two collegiate members were inducted. Additionally, in an effort to reach out to former members whose membership had lapsed, and encourage reinstatement, extended invitations to conferences and events were put in place.
Zeta chapter has a presence in the community. Through their annual holiday cookie swap, members reached out to the students in their local school districts with fresh baked goods. Zeta also supported many book drives that have placed new and gently used books into the hands of low income children. The chapter helped support other regional DKG chapters community outreach food and school supplies drive. Members look forward to becoming a strong supporter of an outreach/nonprofit program which was started by one Zeta member. The program sends new books and educational materials home with new parents from the hospital after the birth of their baby.
Zeta chapter members held many discussions regarding how to best address the challenge of increasing membership. International’s recruitment process was evident. First, members were encouraged to seek out colleagues who may be strong candidates for induction. Second, a membership meeting/orientation event was held for potential candidates to learn about DKG and the benefits of membership. All Zeta members were given a letter of invitation to share with prospects, but were also encouraged to make that all important personal connection. At the orientation, fourteen potential members were paired with current members. Materials explaining the benefits of membership were then discussed in small, intimate groups. From this group of fourteen, twelve members were inducted. Throughout the year, Zeta chapter members have continued to reach out and invite potential members to their meetings. As a result of their collaborative efforts to rely on the abundant materials and resources provided on the New York state organization and International websites, Zeta has several new potential candidates.
Zeta chapter works diligently to become a leader throughout the region and area council. The chapter has strongly supported Eastern Council New York state organization conferences. By reaching out to work collaboratively with other local DKG chapters, members’ efforts have spearheaded and provided workshops which center on the varying needs of the members, provided DKG leadership training and helped newer members see the amazing educators that comprise DKG. By encouraging continued cooperation between chapters and by providing support through the area council, Zeta hopes it will increase the participation of pre-service teachers in DKG international conferences with the goal of extending Collegiate membership to some of the young women who attend.
Through the diverse skills and knowledge of its members, Zeta impacts education because most of its members continue to be involved in educational pursuits on a daily basis. Members support new educators in their buildings as well as take on leadership roles with regards to curriculum development and professional development.
Zeta chapter is excited for its future and for bringing the many benefits of membership in DKG to others. Chapter leaders are looking to strengthen the role of every member, to keep each actively involved and connected to the chapter, as well as to one other. Zeta hopes that their success becomes the success of other chapters who may be struggling to recruit, retain and reinstate members.
Zeta chapter wants others to know that with commitment and focus, struggling chapters can become strong, committed and active in Delta Kappa Gamma.