August 30, 2011


English Honor Society Sponsors Writing Workshop

Forty participants attended a writing workshop with Darnell Arnoult on the Northeast Alabama Community College campus August 6. The event was sponsored by the college’s Sigma Kappa Delta chapter as part of its chapter project—Project Hope: Rebuilding Our Communities. Participants were asked to bring bags of back-to-school items to be given to K-12 students affected by the April tornadoes. The Sigma Kappa Delta chapter worked with a local disaster relief organization to obtain the gender and grade level of 51 students, who were given backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies.

In addition to using this event to collect back-to-school items, the Sigma Kappa Delta chapter also contacted DeKalb and Jackson County school systems to invite teachers to attend and receive professional development credit. Fourteen instructors in the two systems were among the forty participants. One teacher remarked, “I have to admit I wasn’t thrilled about giving up a Saturday to attend a workshop. However, fifteen minutes into it, ideas swirled in my head, and I walked away feeling like I possibly can write fiction and poetry, something I had previously been terrified of doing.” Another teacher commented, “I loved the format and the presentation. This is information I can take back to my high school classroom and use. I would love to see Northeast provide even more workshops for teachers to earn CEU credits. Thanks for making this possible.”

The workshop was conducted by award-winning author Darnell Arnoult. Ms. Arnoult had been the guest speaker for the college’s Arts and Humanities Speaker’s Forum in April, one week before the tornadoes devastated this area. Her desire to help in some way brought her back to Northeast to provide this writing workshop. Ms. Arnoult observed, “I remember how important the community was to us after our house fire a year ago. I feel privileged to combine efforts with Sigma Kappa Delta to help the schools and the students and families affected by the spring storms. I’m so proud of the students, faculty, and administration at NACC for their contribution and service to others.” For more information about Darnell Arnoult and her writing, see news release Speaker's Forum.

Joan Reeves, co-sponsor of the college’s Sigma Kappa Delta chapter and president of the national Sigma Kappa Delta organization, explained that Project Hope kicked off its endeavors with a 5K run in May that raised more than $5,000 for the local Red Cross, which was instrumental in disaster relief immediately after the storms. The 5K was followed with a blood drive for Blood Assurance which collected more than 80 pints of blood. Additionally, throughout the summer the chapter has collected back-to-school items in collection boxes placed all over campus. Ms. Reeves remarked, “I am delighted that we are able to help in some way. Immediately after the storms devastated this area, we began discussing possible ways in which we could make a difference. The four events making up this project have allowed us to help the Red Cross, Blood Assurance, DeKalb and Jackson County teachers and students as well as Northeast students and faculty. This has been one of the most successful and gratifying projects our Sigma Kappa Delta chapter has ever sponsored.”

The Northeast chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta, Epsilon Alpha, was chartered in 1996 and has inducted more than 2,100 members in the sixteen years it has been in operation. Presently, the Northeast chapter has the largest chapter in the nation and was the first to be chartered in Alabama.

For more information about Sigma Kappa Delta contact Joan Reeves at or telephone extension *2231 at the college.

Sigma Kappa Delta members at the workshop included (L-R, top row) Erica Fremming, Joan Tucker (English Instructor), Breanna Henderson, Raeven McAllister;
(bottom row) Jody Ragsdale (English Instructor), Joan Reeves (English and Fine Arts Division Director and national president of
Sigma Kappa Delta), Darnell Arnoult (author and workshop presenter), and Breland Wooten.