Receiving a Literacy Alive! Gold Award at #KDPconvo15

In October, Literacy Alive Panel Session Screen (C602)we had the amazing opportunity to represent Niagara University at the Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) Convocation, or #KDPconvo15, in Orlando, Florida. Andrea Nicolia and I initially attended the conference to accept a Literacy Alive! gold award, from more than 150 submitted projects, for Alpha Alpha Beta Chapter at Niagara’s Halloween-themed children’s literacy program, “Spooktacular”, but was also invited to speak at the first ever Literacy Alive! Panel Session.

Niagara’s Family Literacy Center, with partnership from the New York Power Authority, presented Spooktacular as an event that served local children in kindergarten through eighth grade. The focus was to encourage literacy in multiple formats, expose families to the importance of literacy integration, and stress the ease of incorporating literacy into their everyday lives while promoting the value of higher education. This was achieved through participation in a spooky story writing center, a Halloween read-aloud, and arts and crafts stations.

Literacy Alive! is KDP’s signature service initiative that invites its collegiate chapters and professional members to create different programs and events that empower literacy skills in their community. Through the work of all KDP chapter’s Literacy Alive! programs across the country, 44,625 books were collected for distribution and 57,052 people participated in the 2014–2015 award review cycle, alone!

  • Check out a summary of all of the Top Projects from the 2014-2015 Review Cycle
  • See what you missed from the Literacy Alive! Panel Session at #KDPconvo15
  • Get your questions about Literacy Alive! answered on the FAQ page
  • Be sure to submit your chapter’s Literacy Alive! Collegiate Achievement Form by May 1st

J. Bialkowski and A. Nicolia (C602)Jessica Bialkowski (left) is a graduate assistant at Niagara University and currently the vice president of the Alpha Beta Pi chapter. Andrea Nicolia (right) is a graduate student in Niagara’s School Counseling program and currently the president for the Alpha Alpha Beta Chapter.

Four Ways #KDPconvo15 Helped Us Become Better Educators

…and left us wanting more.FullSizeRender

Coming into the Convocation, we had no idea what to expect. In the end, though, we were very pleased to have spent 3 days listening to inspirational speakers, going to motivational workshops, and networking with KDP members from across the globe. Below are our highlights.

  1. D7K_6105Inspirational speakers: Over the course of Convo 2015, we were inspired from listening to several acclaimed educators, including the 2009 California Teacher of the Year, the 2015 recipient of the National Teacher of the Year, and a teacher from the heartening documentary TEACH. Each of these speakers encouraged us to never stop bettering ourselves for our students. These moving presentations marked some of the highlights of Convo 2015, during which we learned the importance of stepping out of our comfort zone, even if it means rapping to our students. We even had the chance to speak with Shanna Peeples, the National Teacher of the Year, who taught us to never overlook our students, who all have a story to tell.
  1. DSC_8511Motivational workshops: A big part of Convo was attending smaller breakout sessions and workshops tailored to our own professional interests or chapter needs. There was something for everyone, whether you are a preservice teacher, new to the classroom, or have been in the field for 30+ years. One of our personal favorites was the Literacy Alive! panel. We heard from other chapters who found great success in their Literacy Alive! events. It motivated us to take these ideas back to our chapter, where we can make them “Temple Made.”
  1. Networking:DSC_8107 We started networking with other chapters even before we expected to when we went to lunch and spotted the famous black KDP lanyards sitting right next to us (shout out to you, Saint Joe’s, Tau Omega Chapter!). Even though we are situated only 20 minutes from each other in Philadelphia, it took flying almost 1,000 miles away to join forces for both lunch and collaboration. And we exchanged program ideas with another chapter across the state, while our counselors bonded over their mutual love of the Pittsburgh Steelers (shout out to you, Mercyhurst University, Alpha Beta Pi Chapter!).
  1. Merchandise:DSC_0248 Of course, we had to stop in the Convo store! For sale, they had t-shirts to help us rep the KDP letters, as well as water bottles with inspiring quotes, which people were nearly fighting over to grab. The best part of the onsite store? No shipping charges!

We are already looking forward to Convo 2017 in our home state of Pennsylvania, in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, you too can become inspired and motivated . . . and maybe catch a Steelers game with our chapter counselor!

Joan FanwickIMG_8907 and Danni Moser are juniors at Temple University. Joan is in the 4+1 program to get her master’s degree in Special Education in addition to her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She serves as the Alpha Alpha Nu Chapter Events Coordinator. Danni is in the Early Childhood Education program at Temple. She serves as President of the Alpha Alpha Nu Chapter.

Global Handwashing Day

Celebrate Global Handwashing Day to promote handwashing with soap throughout the world.

globalhandwashing_456pxGlobal Handwashing Day is a way to support a global and local culture of handwashing with soap, shine a spotlight on the state of handwashing in each country, and raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap. Since 2008, Global Handwashing Day has been celebrated annually on October 15 worldwide.

Handwashing Saves Lives

Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands because soap and water for handwashing might be less accessible in developing countries. Even when soap is available, it might be reserved primarily for laundry and bathing instead of for handwashing. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively.

  • Millions of children under the age of 5 years die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the world.
  • Handwashing is not only simple and inexpensive, but remarkably, handwashing with soap can dramatically cut the number of young children who get sick.
  • Handwashing with soap could prevent about 1 out of every 3 episodes of diarrheal illnesses and almost 1 out of 6 episodes of respiratory infection like pneumonia.

Make sure you, your family, and your students know when and how to wash your hands properly. See the Centers for Disease Control website for teaching materials and links to videos.

Clean the World—Global Soap Project


You can help save lives by participating in this simple, important project. Here’s how it works:

  • When you pack to come to #KDPconvo15, add a bar of soap to your luggage. Just one bar helps!
  • Add your soap to the KDP collection bin in the Convo registration area of the Rosen Plaza Hotel.
  • On Saturday, October 24, our collection will be taken to Clean the World’s facility in Orlando for processing.

It’s that simple to help save children from lethal diseases. As described on the Global Soap Project website:

The Global Soap Project works with partners around the world to provide access to soap in a sustainable manner to enhance long-term and comprehensive local water, sanitation and hygiene programs. The recipients we target include maternal health programs, schools, community health providers, and nutrition programs.

For further information, visit

Kristen Jackson is Director of Advancement.

October is Honor Your Counselor Month

Fall is my favorite season of the year.  The changing of the leaves, cooler temperatures that require hooded sweatshirts, and both football and the school year are in full swing.  These are things I am thankful for each October.

However, more than these things, I am thankful for the wonderful leaders in the field of education that I have the pleasure of working with each and every day.KDP Counselor Thank You

Each biennium at KDP, we set aside the weeks leading up to Convocation as Honor Your Counselor Month.

Please join us in recognizing and thanking your Chapter Counselor(s) for the work they do in supporting and advising your KDP chapter by participating in our “We Couldn’t BEE More Thankful!” program:

  • By donating to KDP in honor of your Counselor, you will purchase your counselor a $5 Starbucks Gift Card and support our Counselor appreciation efforts, (including light snacks and a special Counselor room at Convo 2015 in Orlando, Florida).

We look forward to partnering with you to show our dedicated, volunteer Counselors how much we appreciate all they do for our individual KDP chapters and also the entire Society.

From all of us here at Headquarters, thank you!

Note:  If a donation isn’t an option right now, check out the list of other ideas to Honor Your Counselor posted here.

  Chapin Schnick

Chapin Schnick is Northeast Regional Chapter Coordinator at Kappa Delta Pi.

#KDPconvo15: John Lennon talks setting goals for Convo

KDP Member John Lennon shares tips on how to get the most out of KDP Convocation. As a chapter representative attending Convo, you have a responsibility to gather knowledge and bring it back to the chapter. You also need to take advantage of the unique opportunity Convo provides to engage in professional development and grow your professional community. Check out John’s latest videos about setting both chapter goals and personal goals for Convo.

Also, download the mobile app by going to

Setting chapter goals for Convo

Setting personal goals for Convo

New Year, New KDP

Happy New Year! So, you may be asking yourself why I’m sending new year’s greetings in July. It is because July 1 is the start of a new business year for KDP, which means that KDP staff and volunteer leaders are busy finalizing the strategic goals and new initiatives of the Society, all of which are intended to enhance our service to you and to the greater education community.

During the last academic year, staff, along with many KDP members, spent a significant amount of time examining KDP’s rich legacy and current opportunities to identify ways to increase the Society’s relevancy and impact in 2015 and beyond. We are leveraging our unwavering commitment to excellence and integrity in education to develop avenues through which we can provide quality learning for all. Through our partnership with the United Nations, KDP continues its effort to make the world a better place by serving as a leader in ensuring that all learners have access to high-quality, equitable, and relevant educational opportunities and that they develop and enact a sustainability worldview. Additional information about this and other initiatives will be shared in early fall as the new academic year gets underway.

Excitement continues to grow around the planning and celebration of our 50th Convocation with new sessions, some with formats similar to TedTalks, and keynote speakers who will inspire us to be teacher leaders and to make our voices heard. Convo will also be an opportunity to increase our global understanding by talking with KDP members in attendance from China, Taiwan, Australia, and Nigeria. Our Nigerian colleagues will play a key role in the execution of our new Nigerian service project that will provide local educators with desperately needed classroom supplies and materials. Of course, there will be plenty of time to connect and learn from one another during our time together and to have fun!

This is an exciting time to be a part of the KDP community of educators, so be sure to check out the discussions and announcements in KDP Global. We are eager to support you and value your impact on our country’s greatest asset—its children.

Enjoy the rest of the summer season!


Faye Snodgress is Executive Director of Kappa Delta Pi.

Video Blog: John Lennon Shares Why Attending Convo Is So Important

Are you attending the 50th Biennial KDP Convocation in Orlando, Florida? In the first of a series of video blogs, KDP member John Lennon will talk about what he realized when he attended Convo in 2013, and why he thinks attending KDP Convo is so important for your chapter and your career in education.

John P. Lennon was the Associate Counselor for the Epsilon Eta Chapter at Central Michigan University this past Spring. As an undergraduate he was a chapter officer and attended the 2013 KDP Convocation in Dallas, Texas. You can reach John at

Got a Minute? Week of May 4th, 2015

Got a minute for KDP? See what’s going on at headquarters in a one-minute(ish) video. This week:

  • Awards for Education Excellence. We want to celebrate what makes your chapter excellent. Submit Chapter Awards by May 15
  • Early birds, join us for Convocation at a reduced rate
  • Teacher Appreciation Week. Check your email for $5 off at
  • #kdpgradwithpride
  • and May the Fourth Be With You!

We’re looking for you in Orlando!

Anne Boley is the Event and Executive Coordinator at Kappa Delta Pi.

Can you believe Convo 2015 is coming up in less than 7 months? We are looking forward to seeing many of our KDP members at the Rosen Plaza hotel in sunny Orlando, Florida. Convo takes place Oct 22-24. This will be the 50th anniversary KDP Convocation. What a fantastic opportunity to celebrate this achievement! We invite you to join us for networking, learning, sharing, and friendship.

EarlybirdI’m pleased to announce that online registration is now open. Our early bird rates are available through August but I urge you to register sooner rather than later. Visit our registration page for all the details about what’s included in your fees for Convo. Then, register through the My KDP portal.

And don’t forget that it’s especially important to reserve your guest room at the Rosen Plaza soon as there is limited inventory at our Convo rate of $129 per night. You can reserve your room online now by clicking here.

Be sure to visit the Convo website for all the details. You can scan the agenda, check out our keynote speakers, and book travel and leisure discounts. You won’t want to miss this fantastic opportunity!