The members of Theta Zeta have several local projects each semester. Our first service project of the year is to volunteer to help the AAUW with their book sale in October. Then, near Halloween, we go trick-or-treating for children's books. We typically take flyers to neighborhoods near the campus announcing that we are coming around in costume for Halloween, but are asking for donations of books for children and teens instead of candy. Each year we collect several boxes of books as well as money donations; the books collected and those purchased with money donations are given to local organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Eau Claire and to the Literacy Volunteers of America. Trick-or-treating for books has been such a success that we plan to repeat the event each Halloween in another neighborhood.
Each spring semester the members of Theta Zeta run the Children's Writing Contest, an annual project in which we take submissions from western Wisconsin students in grades K-6, judge them based on creativity and quality of writing, and create a book of winning entries. During the spring of 2006 we expanded the project and created the Young Adults' Writing Contest to showcase the best of the 7-12th grade writers, also run each spring.
Children's Writing Contest 2006 Cover by Jemia MoserThe writing contests are one of the most entertaining and enjoyable experiences for the members of Theta Zeta. This past year alone we had over 700 submissions from all over Western Wisconsin. Each grade typically has 2-3 winners (selected by members of the Theta Zeta chapter and other interested English students). Each winner receives a copy of the winners book, an age-appropriate book picked by Sigma Tau Delta members, and a writing journal.
Submissions are typically due in early March. The winners are asked to attend an awards ceremony to be held in May during UWEC's English Festival where the winners receive their prizes and read their entries for the attendees.
We encourage all K-12th graders to submit their entries to Sigma Tau Delta as long as they follow some simple guidelines. We have updated our entry form and guidelines this year and have posted them on the Forms and Guidelines page of the writing contest.
Visit the Writing Contest Home Page for more information.
For many years, members of the Theta Zeta Chapter have attended the annual Sigma Tau Delta International Convention. For more information on the International Convention, visit the Sigma Tau Delta International web site.
From 2004-2007, members of the Theta Zeta Chapter have held positions of Midwestern Student Representative (SR) and Midwestern Associate Student Representative (ASR):
Traci Thomas Card, ASR 2004-2005, SR 2005-2006;
Daniel Hardy, ASR 2005-2006, SR 2006-2007;
Grant Tharalson, ASR 2006-2007.
In March 2008, Stephanie Schiefelbein was selected by the Sigma Tau Delta Board of Directors as one of two students nationwide to serve as a Student Advisor to the Board, a two-year term.
In addition, the current Midwestern Sigma Tau Delta Regent is the faculty advisor to the Theta Zeta Chapter: Gloria Hochstein.
Professor Hochstein was also the Convention Chair for the 2009 Sigma Tau Delta Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2006 Regional Conference Button
In the fall of 2006 the Theta Zeta Chapter hosted a Midwestern Regional Conference in conjunction with our chapter's 50th anniversary.
For many years the Theta Zeta Chapter has been sending books to countries all over the world. What we now call the Books Over Borders campaign began with a professor from Kemerovo University in Siberia, Russia, asking for books for her university. In 2005, the Theta Zeta Chapter hosted an inaugural event for the Books Over Borders project. As part of the campaign we hosted a benefit concert featuring talent from the UWEC English Department. With the proceeds, we sent books to Escuela San Miguel, a school in Nicaragua (for more information, visit their website). The concert was a lot of fun, and we hope to host such an event again. We continue to support the Books Over Borders campaign, having expanded our support to schools in Indonesia as well as Russia and Nicaragua.
More recently, and in conjunction with the Sigma Tau Delta Organization, Theta Zeta has participated in the Better World Books book drive, an effort to donate books to literacy-centered programs and to sell new and used books and textbooks online to fund literacy initiatives across the globe (for more information about Better World Books, visit their website,www.betterworldbooks.com).