Community

Women educators group makes literacy its focus

As a continued effort to promote literacy and education, several members of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society’s Bowman Psi Chapter made a donation last week to the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum.

Bowman's Psi Chapter members Shirley Jensen, Lois Anderson and Alta Schaar take a photo with Lori Nohner, manager of the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum, center, and Dorothy Pearson, far right, a museum board member after the chapter donated a book, "North Dakota: 1960 to the Millenium," to the museum's collection. (Photo by Bryce Martin | Pioneer)
Bowman’s Psi Chapter members Shirley Jensen, Lois Anderson and Alta Schaar take a photo with Lori Nohner, manager of the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum, center, and Dorothy Pearson, far right, a museum board member after the chapter donated a book, “North Dakota: 1960 to the Millenium,” to the museum’s collection. (Photo by Bryce Martin | Pioneer)

By Bryce Martin | Pioneer Editor | bmartin@countrymedia.net

As a continued effort to promote literacy and education, several members of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society’s Bowman Psi Chapter made a donation last week to the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum.

Lois Anderson, Shirley Jensen and Alta Schaar, each a retired rural school educator and members of Bowman’s Psi Chapter, presented the museum with a copy of “North Dakota: 1960 to the Millennium.” The soft-cover book, which retails for over $100, is a chronicle of North Dakota’s history from 1960 to the millennium, written by Kimberly Porter.

(Photo by Bryce Martin | Pioneer)
(Photo by Bryce Martin | Pioneer)

“It was a very generous donation,” said Lori Nohner, manager of the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum. “We’ve loved working with that group of ladies and anything to help promote history and literacy in the counties is great.”

Nohner and Dorothy Pearson, a museum board member and country schoolteacher for two years, graciously accepted the donation as an important piece of history and promotion of literacy in the county.

The chapter’s donation to the museum was just one of its annual projects to help promote literacy in the area. In the past the chapter donated books to Hettinger, Rhame, Scranton and Bowman health care clinics and have provided scholarships for women seeking to further their education.

The Delta Kappa Gamma Society, an international society for key women educators, was founded 86 years ago in Texas. Its original mission was to effect equal pay for female educators, a fight women still wage in today’s society.

The organization has since adopted new standards, with one of its present goals to tackle illiteracy across the country and, chiefly for Bowman’s group, in southwest North Dakota schools.

Permission was granted in April 1989 for the creation of a new Psi chapter and, in 1994, one was formed in Bowman by Alpha Omicron State President Orpha Prather.

The Bowman chapter began with 13 members and now has 17, of which six are founding members. The chapter’s membership consists of female educators, serving from the Bowman County area and Hettinger.

Anderson, who resides in Bowman County, previously worked as an elementary educator, then went on to be elected as superintendent of Bowman and Slope County school districts, when the jobs were combined, in 1984. She retired from Slope in 2004 and from Bowman two years later.

“Teaching in rural schools was fun,” Anderson said. She added that travelling to the different schools in the area was enjoyable.

Schaar, a resident of Scranton, worked as a fifth grade teacher then moved on to become a librarian until retirement. Though she continued work in the school system as a substitute teacher for several years.

Schaar recalled fond memories of years working as a teacher, but admitted with a laugh that teaching algebra was most difficult.

Jensen, also of Bowman, spent 22 years as an elementary educator and city librarian until she retired several years ago.

The three women each graduated college with a Bachelor’s Degree.