By Stacie Bosley
Elm Staff Writer
For most students, spring-time means enjoying the sunshine on the campus green in the name of stress relief. For the members of Pi Lambda Theta, the Education Honor Society here at Washington College, spring-time means community. Spring is the society’s busiest season, and they plan on making this spring’s events bigger and better than ever. From an Egg Hunt to El Dia de Futbol, PLT has got a lot on its plate.
The first thing will be the induction of new members – applications were due last Friday. To apply, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and have completed at least three semesters of higher education classes. However, they do not have to be future teachers or members of the education department. They must simply have an interest in “education, training, and schooling endeavors (not just K-12),” according to the society’s page on the school website. After they are inducted, new members will have the opportunity to help out in the planning and hosting of the up-coming events.
Two of the largest events are coming up in April and are based on the idea of creating relations between the College and families in the community. The first, an egg hunt, will be held on April 7 on the campus green, and is one of PLT annual events. Apart from a traditional hunt for brightly-colored, candy-filled eggs, there will be face painting, snacks, and many other games for the children and their families.
Members try to promote the activities in the partner schools the education department works with, including Garnett and Rock Hall elementary schools in Kent County, and Sudlersville and Churchill elementary schools in Queen Anne’s County. According to PLT President Senior Sarah Douglass, “Each year the Egg Hunt is a little different, as we learn from what worked well from years past. Every year it also gets a little bigger, as kids who attended last year’s come back and bring their friends.”
Families don’t have to register for the event; they can just come as they are, ready for a good time in the sunshine.
Later in April, PLT will be focusing on playing a bigger role in El Dia de Futbol, another annual event held on campus. El Dia de Futbol is a day-long event that brings members of the Hispanic community and their families here to campus for a slew of sports- and literacy- based activities, both in Spanish and English. Pi Lambda Theta is working with the Spanish Club, Service Council, and Sigma Delta Pi, and the Spanish Honor Society. Douglass said, “Everyone’s throwing everything they have into the pot to make this the biggest and best one yet.”
The purpose of the event is to build a bridge between the college and Hispanic communities, which Douglass claims goes largely unnoticed. Activities include soccer drills, read-alouds, informal scrimmages, and other friendly games focused on creating bonds between all the participants. The community aspect of this is highlighted by the fact that so many on-campus groups are coming together and collaborating to pull off this huge project.
Next week the groups will be holding a fundraiser in order to buy supplies and hopefully some fun take-aways for the community members. Members of Pi Lambda Theta and the other clubs will be coming around to the dorms, offering homemade cookies in exchange for donations, so keep that spare change jar handy – you might find that helping the community can be pretty sweet.
Pi Lambda Theta also has a hand in uniting the College and the community professionally. This spring they will hold their annual Panel of Experts for Pi Lambda Theta members and anyone interested in pursuing education professionally. This year, the society is interested in getting more local teachers to participate. Past experts have included special education teachers, education professors, and a member of the State Board of Education. The Panel of Experts reflects the society’s commitment to professional development and career training.
Overall, though, it all comes back to community. Pi Lambda Theta is really prioritizing making their presence felt by benefiting the College and local communities. When asked about the upcoming semester overall, Douglass replied “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s all about providing these kids with experiences and fun opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise get if campus didn’t reach out.”