In “A Room of One’s Own,” Virginia Woolf argues for a literal and figurative space for writers. Libraries are important cornerstones of a healthy, progressive community; libraries provide safe, transformative spaces for scholars and students. Langston University is an HBCU located in Langston, OK, and we used the funds from the 2020 Sigma Tau Delta Chapter Project Grant to provide Langston students with their own room or gateway to knowledge and culture. Since libraries play a fundamental role in society, we needed to create a place to support students’ literacy and educational goals. Grant funds allowed us to transform an old library in Jones Hall, which is home to the English Department, into a comfortable, community space for English majors and Sigma Tau Delta members to engage in conversations, to read literary texts, and to relax between classes.
The Alpha Psi Delta Chapter invested blood, sweat, and elbow-grease into cleaning, sanitizing, and restoring the communal space to use for our classroom library. The space has ebony bookshelves embedded into the walls, and we wanted to use each inch of the bookshelf space to hold books and to create a space that documents the achievements of the Alpha Psi Delta Chapter. Our chapter’s Book Drive Donative Competition helped us to add a whooping forty-six titles to the shelves. Our cleaning efforts were matched by the University and the entire room was painted a glossy white to invite lots of light. We completed the room by adding personal touches like picture frames, flower vases, and fancy book ends. Visits from our local Goodwill store provided us with low priced side tables, pillows, and runners. Currently, this space holds two desktop computers, various comfy chairs, and tons of reading material to inspire the love of literacy in all ages (from children to adults). In addition to creating various personal spaces for students, this space also contains an achievement wall that will allow us to recognize, document, and pay respect to the current and alumni chapter members.
The Chapter Project Grant allowed our chapter to create a classroom library that furthers the goals of Sigma Tau Delta. Our library provides a space for students to learn where they can be encouraged to read or inspired to write. Since libraries are temples for learning and reading has the power to liberate, we wanted to create a space that embodied these ideals of freedom and intellect and that valued high achievement in English. Our classroom library allows us to continue our commitment to improving the educational level of students on our campus and allows us to continue to demonstrate our love for literature and the arts. As an HBCU dedicated to the training of Black and Brown scholars, we vow to use this classroom library to promote the academic success and retention of black students as we continue to solidify our cultural heritage and legacy.
Sigma Tau Delta Project Grants
Sigma Tau Delta’s Project Grants are designed to encourage local chapters to be innovative in developing projects that further the goals of the Society. The Society will award a limited number of grants, for no more than $500 each, to support local chapter activities. Funds may be requested for separate projects or for parts of larger projects, and chapters should explore ways to use Project Grants in combination with funds secured from other sources. Funds may be requested for ongoing projects, but there is no guarantee that projects funded during one grant period will receive funding in future grant periods.
Applications must be complete and received by November 8, 2021. No late submissions will be accepted. Award winners will be notified by December 6, 2021, with one-half of the awarded funds available immediately; the other half when a final project reflection is submitted. The Final Project Reflection is due May 1, 2022.
Sigma Tau Delta Project Grant Resources
Past Project Grant Reports
When Words Come to Life
Leo’s Little Free Library
Online Tutoring Partnership
Restocking the Military Resource Center’s Lending Library
Writing Contest for Secondary Schools
AuthorShip! Writing Contest
Little Free Library
Common Reader Community Discussion
English Careers Event