HUNTINGTON, IN -- In the fall of 2003, the Alpha Beta Sigma chapter of Sigma Tau Delta discovered that many non-native English speakers in the community sought to improve their English-speaking skills but were faced with a problem: not many affordable resources existed. So, Alpha Beta Sigma decided to volunteer their skills in English and accept any student wishing to improve their speech and writing.
Alpha Beta Sigma, located at Huntington College, Huntington, Ind., contacted their county Literacy Coalition and offered to assist in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). The goal of the chapter is to improve English skills of tutors and establish a consistent team of volunteers for the Literacy Coalition.
Claire Pontius, president of Alpha Beta Sigma and a senior English education major from Bloomington, Ind., initiated the program in the fall of 2003.
"Since we have the tools to help those in need in our community, I think we should be willing to give freely," said Pontius.
Since the beginning of the year, tutors have volunteered to help struggling English speakers along with those trying to pass the GED. They have also volunteered to help the mentally and physically challenged in need of reading companions.
This project embodies the core values of Sigma Tau Delta," said Dr. Todd Martin, faculty sponsor of Alpha Beta Sigma and Associate Professor of English at Huntington College. "Members are applying their language skills in a very practical and service-minded way."